Things I Love Thursday

  • I’ve been reading and digesting 279 days to overnight success over a few days. Steve pointed it out to me and so far I’ve had quite a few ‘lightbulb moments’ (thanks Oprah) and also some fear over making the changes suggested. Both of these are positive reactions as far as I’m concerned, over the next few weeks I’m going to try and follow the steps. You may have already noticed the first thing I’ve done based on this article. If not, check out the ‘contact’ link on the side bar —–>
  • My skipping rope. Lee’s been going on at me since we stopped going to swing that I’m not getting any exercise. My roundy belly agrees, as does the slight increase of me being affected by asthma. So I had a think about the kinds of things I might *enjoy* doing and came up with: going swimming, skipping and doing my balance ball DVD workout. I’m going to make a schedule and try to stick to it, maybe going swimming once or twice a week, skipping every day until I get puffed and my DVD when I can be bothered. Skipping is fun. I can still do all the tricks I used to do at school. Sucking my belly button in towards my spine and holding is also good fun, but I can’t do it for long.
  • I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing me talk about the Red Hot Chili Peppers but their Stadium Arcadium album is just so freaking good that I can’t stop listening to it. Right now I’m all about She Looks to me, Slow Cheetah and Torture Me.
  • The internets, it gives me goodies such as thegorgeous use of flickr, just magical. Rock Band Nirvana by Penny Arcade, might be bad taste but I laughed anyway. I just want to be tall! Off Dooce. Dog blog updates.

Honourable Mentions: soft warm clothes, being inside when it’s raining, blogging, blankies, warm feet, going to sleep, chocolate, my Lee, my friends, How I Met Your Mother, baths and blasting my music nice and loud.

Please to be sharing your list of happy with me below in the comments.



ANZAC day.

I’ve been meaning to go to one of the dawn ceremonies for years, but I kept putting it off because I couldn’t be bothered getting up that early. Or I’d have something on the night before, or I just couldn’t get motivated enough. This year a workmate and I made a pact to finally go.

It would have been harder to wake up if Lee’s on call phone hadn’t gone off at 4am, but it did, so it was easier. We left the house around 10 past 5. I was amazed at the number of people streaming to the cenotaph. I guess I’ve never been before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the Wellington turn out was huge. It was very cold but the atmosphere was amazing, so quiet and respectful and so many children there with their parents. We didn’t get there early enough to get a really good view. We were in the middle of the road between the cenotaph and the law school. If i go again I’d like to be in front of the cenotaph.

The service was good, not too long and with a very moving address from Group Captain of the Royal Australian Air Force. I cried a little, and I cried again at the end when the veterans walked past the place where we were standing and everyone clapped for them. There was a fly over from some army helicopters and the guns being fired were very impressive.

It’s hard to describe how it felt to be there, proud certainly. But sad. It was such a horrific moment in our National history, and a reminder of all the people who have served in all those wars and are still serving now.

I emailed my Mum and Dad, I knew vaguely that at least one of my grandparents had served, but I knew no details. It turns out my mother’s father served late in World War 2 in Italy, but the details aren’t very clear.

This is what my father emailed me:

Your paternal grandfather Harold, was one of an ANZAC force in Greece early in WW2, he was a signalman. The Germans over-whelmed them and forced a retreat to Crete from where they were again ousted. I don’t know details but Mum said that he missed the boats and a group of them had to wait for rescue, they almost starved and were eating grass.

From there he was in Egypt and the army chased the Italians across North Africa, Dad was a truck driver and cook. When they reached Libya The Germans arrived under Rommel and promptly drove them back to Egypt where Rommel was finally repulsed at the battle of El Alamein. Dad was full of stories about the retreat and break-outs from Tobruk and Mersa Matruh, he once told me that he never turned the engine of his truck off, so it was always ready to go.

He was invalided out due to sand in the lungs after Alamein.

My maternal grandfather Henry Milligan saw action in WW1, he was at Gallipoli and later in France but I don’t know where. He lost an arm and had 3-4 very impressive bullet scars in his abdomen. I’d say he was a pretty lucky man.

I had no clue that I had such a close link to Gallipolli. It’s quite humbling and it makes me even more proud to have attended the dawn service. Next year I might go to one of the later services though, maybe the one at the National War memorial in the middle of the morning.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
– Laurence Binyon

Search terms are funs

More examples of the strange and various ways that people find my blog.

famous paintings of emo
I’m hoping that this means that my emo unicorn boy painting is now FAMOUS and any day now I can expect to be deluged with offers of lots of money to buy it. I would sell it, just so you know, for the right price. If the right offer came along. Just letting you know.

sprinkler air compressor
Well, I know I talked about my mini air compressor and how it failed to inflate my air bed efficiently, but where does the sprinkler come into it?

jem and the holograms quilted
Yep, now I really want to make a Jem quilt. Thanks a lot random googler, thanks a lot. I could use lots of pink sparkly fabric, fabrics printed with guitars and keyboards and drums, anything with red stars on it and anything that’s very eighties.

model woman scene
Yeah I’m trying to get into that model woman scene but it’s tough you know? I think the drawback is that I’m a real woman and not just a model of one.

dead girls in satin costumes
You what? No really….what?

“they took my water”
I’m sorry man, that must really suck.

punk rock running shoes
In my head these would be high heeled black sneakers, Nike kind of design, but with pink streaks across them. There would be chains dangling from them and they’re be really freaking annoying and difficult to run in. But they’d be punk rock.

Books I’ve read

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
It was awesome. I mean, it didn’t make you want to pick it up once you’d put it down because there was no plot, but I liked reading it. I liked the idea of the road trips, I missed them when I was finished. I will read it again some day. Plus, I like checking it off my list of classics read.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I had this massive craving to read this story again and bought it for $10 at Borders. I love this story so much. It’s so sad, but the bravery of Sara makes it beautiful. I also love that she is a storyteller, I love the way she imagines and pretends and tries so hard to be a good person, even when she is starving. That’s the kind of princess I want to be.
I love this book to bits. I think I might read it again.

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Told from two different points of view in alternate chapters, this is a pretty classic superhero story but told as a regular novel rather than a comic. The first point of view is Doctor Impossible, a super villain who is a bit like Lex Luthor if he was a mad scientist with some super powers. I pictured him as Neil Patrick Harris because of Dr Horrible. The other point of view is Fatale, an ordinary girl who was in a terrible accident and was rebuilt as a super powered cyborg. It was really fun and funny and the characters were interesting and engaging.

The Walking Dead: Volume 7 by Robert Kirkman
Man. These books just get more and more hardcore. I mean I knew it would go badly, because all the main characters were all like ‘oh, everything’s been so happy and peaceful and we’re all doing so well.’ And them BAM! huge scary cliffhanger ending. Plus there’s a nice line of grey going on about whether our heroes are really the good guys or not.

Now I’m reading Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear, which is a slightly overwritten modern fantasy about Faerie, mages, werewolves and a rather lovely kelpie. If by lovely I mean dark and evil and a bit sexy. It took a couple of chapters to warm up but I’m enjoying it now.

Actual Play Report Fall – Worst Day Ever

Previously on Fall…..Episode one
Epsiode two
Episode three
Episode 4 “Watch Your Back.’
Sophie’s recaps

Coda to the last episode/pre credits sequence is a montage to music. Megan sneaking into her house and covering up her bruises with makeup before talking to her mother, Alex walking in the rain of emo, Darius sitting in a darkened house with his dog beside him and Calvin coming home to find a note from his parents asking him to order more wine in the grocery order and letting him know that they’re going to Europe the next day.

Tuesday morning. Calvin surprises everyone in the whole universe by being early for school. This was of course, so that he could lay in wait at the school entrance for Xavier and then do some more intimidation…ing. I specified that I was there first thing and hanging around, leaning against the wall at the main entrance, partially obscured by a pillar. So James Dean, right?

(By the way, Calvin is still healing the damage from the first night of patrolling with Alex for vampires. It doesn’t help that he keeps getting in other fights, but just so you know. He’s still healing and she feels better after one night’s sleep. Humans suck compared to slayers. End rant.)

Most of the kids had already arrived at school when Xavier showed his face. Dan described him as fearfully peeking at Calvin. This happened right when Darius had arrived and was talking to Calvin, asking why he was at school so early. ‘That’s why.’ Calvin said, and walked towards Xavier. Xavier turned to run and ran right into Alex, the slayer. He rebounds off a girl almost half his size and falls down, more or less at Calvin’s feet. Alex kept walking into school without acknowledging either Calvin or Darius.
Continue reading

Sad Making

There’s some stuff going on right now in my and my friends’ lives that is very sad making and hard to solve. I hate it when things are so big and scary and you feel helpless to change anything. I don’t want to go into any details because of privacy issues and how I want to keep this blog free of whining, but there is something making me sad that can be easily solved.

Yesterday, at Yum Char we were offered shark fin dumplings. I have been offered these at Yum Char before but not since last year when I saw sharkwater at the film festival. I learned in that documentary that the world shark population has decreased by something like 90% due to fishing, mostly illegal fishing and mostly for supplying the shark fin soup trade. I saw footage of sharks being hauled in from the ocean, the fishers then cut off all their fins and tossed them back into the ocean to die there. It was nasty, cruel and unnecessary.

I say unnecessary, I know that shark fin soup is a traditional Chinese dish that gets served at weddings to show how prosperous the couple is but the irony is that shark fin is just cartilage and has no flavour. The soup is actually mostly chicken broth. So, one of the things that I can do is to boycott any place that serves shark fin. Unfortunately this includes my favourite Yum Char spot.

I don’t want to boycott my favourite Yum Char spot so I thought I’d research and check if shark fin dumplings were also made of shark fin or if it’s just a name, like bird’s nest. Unfortunately the first recipe that I found on the net was this one. Of course I don’t know if this is representative of all shark fin dumplings but I kind of have to assume it is. Notice how the dumplings are also made with pork and prawn for flavour?

Of course, just stopping going there isn’t going to achieve anything, so I’m going to write and let the restaurant know that I can’t eat there until they stop serving shark fin. I don’t expect to make a difference, because I’m just one person and I’m sure there are plenty of people who go there and enjoy the shark fin but I have to do this anyway. I can’t condone this.

I am also going to check out the other Chinese restaurants in Wellington and see who is selling shark fin. I really hope Shanghai isn’t, but I don’t know.

So, there’s something that makes me sad, because of the sharks and because of the delicious glazed barbecue pork buns that I won’t be eating any more but at least I can do something about it. I can take concrete steps and know that I have done something good.

Point of Fashion: robe
Current Obsession: wishing NZ immigration would let Kim stay

Things I Love Thursday

  • My new threadless clothes. Batman hoodie, little outlaws and the fine day shirt today, all look awesome on, are different to clothes I already have and I have had compliments on them. All good things.
  • Dollhouse, I want the next episode plzthx.
  • Being warm when it is cold outside.
  • Pie and sharing pie.
  • My roleplaying is still awesome, I’m really looking forward to each session.

Honourable Mentions: pie, burger fuel, patchwork quilting, my friends, my Lee, pie, clean and organised house, Arrested Development, polar bears, slippers and pie.

Please share what you are thankful for here in the comments 🙂

Wednesday pie day

I was writing, I think I did a solid half hour, and I was blasting Mr Leonard Cohen and I was basking in the sun and then I just kind of…stopped. My mind was blank. I tried to keep writing and I managed it for a couple more pages and then I stopped again.

So I made a pie.

I wanted my old Little House on the Prairie recipe, which is in this black slipcover folder with a heap of other good recipes. This recipe folder has evaporated and is nowhere in my house. I checked all the places I thought it could have gotten to but no, gone. And I forgot completely that the recipe was here because my mind was blank. So I used this one, which differs in that there is sugar in the pastry.

Making apple pie is pretty fun, it’s easy just involved. I listened to Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers and thought about tonight’s game of Fall and yeah. It was what I wanted to do. I am making progress on my novel, but something Debbie said in yesterday’s comments resonated with me: Sometimes the idea is great but it needs to simmer away in the back of your mind for a while for the inspiration to kick in.

So I’m not pushing it. I’m mellow and I’m zen and I’m allowing the novel to simmer away in the back of my mind. Nothing helps you become more zen than baking, assuming that you have all the ingredients you need, the recipe is simple to follow and you don’t use salt instead of sugar.

Mmmmm Apple pie

Mmmmm Apple pie

Point of Fashion: My lil outlaws
Current Obsession: pie!

You’re living for nothing now, I hope you’re keeping some kind of record

I don’t know if it’s because I’m starting a new project, but I am overwhelmed with doubt about my new novel. I keep coming up with different arguments in my head for why I shouldn’t even bother trying.

I formulated a sentence or two while in my bath and decided to go on from there, but when I sit down to actually write the thing my Inner Critic says “what are you thinking writing this?”
I’m like “well, I thought it would be an interesting idea.”
Inner Critic says “Don’t be ridiculous. You’re writing about a woman going to the hairdresser. It’s really boring and mundane.”
Me: “Oh, but…I kind of thought it was an interesting relationship, because there’s this level of intimacy-”
IC: “No, it’s boring, trust me. Like reading about someone going to the dairy for milk.”
Me: “Oh. Well, maybe I’ll just write a couple more pages and we’ll see about that.”

*writing happens.*

Inner Critic pushes in. “No, see this is boring. No one actually likes reading stream of consciousness stuff you know. It’s pretentious.”
Me: “…”
IC: “And you’re just saying what everyone thinks in that situation.”
Me: “Well, that was kind of what I was trying to do. Now be quiet, I want to get to the end of the hair washing sequence because I think I’m getting an interesting-”
IC: “Oh, a head massage and you’re using sexual terms to describe it. Genius.”
Me, near tears: “Can I just finish this sentence please?”
IC: “What’s the point? Seriously. You’re being boring and pretentious and obvious.”
Me: “Shit, am I really? I’d better stop.”

I think you get the idea. Also, this is in no way a new thing. Back when I was just starting out on Kiki I really struggled with this. I guess you could call it self sabotage, or a lack of confidence, or writer’s block. I guess I just have to do what I did then and ignore my inner critic altogether, just get it down. It’s not easy when the inner critic is so loud and convincing though, she really plays off my insecurities.

Even if what I write is no good and I never even show it to anyone, it’s good practice just to write. (Remember Leonard Cohen’s advice? paraphrased here, and properly quoted here, because it’s good stuff.)
I have to just keep writing and inventing as much interesting stuff as I can to shut up that darn voice.

Extra reading:
Things I’ve Learned about writing.
Motivation it can be hard to come by, so grab it when you can.

It just occurred to me that it’s more than a year since I’ve been taking Wednesday afternoons off. I feel like I’ve achieved heaps, and I am greedy for more time away from work to achieve more.


After I blogged yesterday I did a very good job of cleaning up the lounge, making space on the dining table for another quilter, vacuuming, straightening up the kitchen, cleaning the toilet and mopping the floors. Then Svend and C came over and we missioned to Nancy’s Embroidery to get quilting hardware for C and pretty pretty fabrics for me.

This trip was a success. I looooove the fabric selection at Nancy’s. I even picked up some more of two fabrics I’ve had previously and loved. Then we got foods from the Bordeaux Bakery and came home again. Various people showed up with various crafts and a very mellow afternoon was had. I also managed to just about complete the starry baby quilt I’ve been making. I was two blocks short and I couldn’t quite bring myself to do those two blocks. I also managed a fair bit of hand quilting on the alphabet quilt, so that will be at the binding stage pretty soon.

People oovled off before dinner time and Chelle and I got in a couple of eps of The Tudors, season one. OMG so many pretty dresses and so many nice looking men with their shirts off. It’s pretty funny since neither of us know anything much about the history of the period so we don’t know what’s made up and what’s accurate. Enjoying it lots though.

Today on the way home from Sweet Mother’s Kitchen I went into Whitcoulls looking for a copy of A Little Princess because I threw out my manky old copy and I want to read it again. They didn’t have it, but I randomly found a copy of the new Meg Cabot book, the third in the Allie Finkle series, so I got that instead. This afternoon: Rock Band and then dinner at Flying Burrito Bros. My belly is so spoiled.

PoF: In case of zombies
CO: contentment

PS. This made me LOL.