Wednesday, September 26, 2007

For now...

I'm running the blog from Wordpress. I'm not going to delete this one, because if WordPress pisses me off enough, then I want it here to come back to.

Lyvvie at WordPress

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I knew I was Young at Heart!

I always say I don't feel any older than I did at 19 and now I have proof. My stepUncle sent me an e-mail to do some online health quiz, and it was really neat to see how different things I do in my life make such a dramatic difference to my life expectancy. I started out putting in my 35 years and it automatically added in the average life expectancy of 74. Then through a series of questions the numbers get further apart, or closer together.

It was great to see, at the end of the test, I have a "Real age" of 20 years old, and a life expectancy of 89. I'm aiming for a 100th birthday, and I want to to be able to walk up to, cut and chew my own birthday cake (although my own teeth is optional, I'm thinking after 100 years they'll have been replaced with fine and dandy new ones) so I'm going to just keep on doing whatever I'm doing.

You take the test too!! http://www.poodwaddle.com/realage.swf

I don't know why poodwaddle but hey. I liked the answers. Considering I have another 54 years to get my novel finished, I feel a whole lot more relaxed this morning. Also, I'm not even "middle aged" yet! Woohoo!

Saw this stuff advertised on QVC a year ago or something and thought it was disgusting, but so cool! you just leave it on your feet and then after a time you can scrape off liquefied layers of gross, yellow dead skin. Oh it turns my stomach but makes me eager to try it. So for the ultimate ick factor: I bought some. I may even share pictures of the grodiness, Halloween is coming, after all.

Still getting along on WordPress, it's all so different! It's not as easy as Blogger by a long shot. I've been spoiled with the ability to hack away at Blogger templates with my own HTML and links. Not as simple to achieve, and it's taking a lot of slogging through its forums to figure out how it's done. I have a supportive Husband who offers his expertise and I hope to get settled in over the months. It's good to learn new things! I just don't know yet if it'll have been worth the effort. I mean, I did have to pay $15 for the customize CSS option which felt like a wasteful parting of cash.

This morning was the first in over two weeks that I woke up and felt refreshed and had energy to start the morning, so I think I'm finally free of this damned bug that's plagued me. I'm still congested, and have sore sinuses but I'm not exhausted which was a feeling of hope. Downside: Husband now seems to have caught it.

I've spent a lot of time writing this week, dedicated at least an hour and a half to just writing, with an average half hour of faffing about: That's a huge improvement! The difference is not to write in the house. I find if I start to write in the house, I'm immediately distracted by all those things I normally try to avoid: like laundry, toilet bowl scrubbing and mopping floors. Why is it when I begin to write those tasks become so much more demanding and easier to finish? So I've been writing in the local cafe, where the owner is a lovely girl who has the same name as me and she buys soya milk just for me to indulge in lattes of extortionate prices. But she is so nice, I don't mind. I'll find a way to cut money elsewhere to support my writing and soy latte habit. But I've finished the first re write of chapter one and I'm rather proud of myself.

I bought a new perfume recently and now...don't like it. It smells like L'Eau D'Executive Riche, or Office Yuppie Chic. It's sweet and sharp. I don't really do sweet or sharp. Then it dries to more powdery softness. I don't do powdery softness, either. It kind of smells like White Linen with a mix of posh hand lotion, whereas my favourite perfume is Coco Chanel. Good thing I didn't spend a fortune on it. I'm now trying to think who I can give it to...Any Pheromone fans? NOW wait...don't go there...it's not "pheromone" perfume. It's called that. I bought it on the strength of many reviews and that it's got Egyptian stuff about it and my all time favourite scent was a $2 bottle of Egyptian musk oil I bought at the flea market in 1990. Yes, I still have it. Yes it still smells great. I often get grabbed by women who demand to know what it is. I guess I should try out the new one for a bit and see how I like it, but just now I'm disappointed. Plus, my nose isn't working properly yet and could just be I'm not smelling it properly.

That's me done for the spending spree. Time to knuckle back down and save money for, ugh, Christmas presents. Sassy already has a list 12 items long. We're sticking to the five present limit again for the kids.

If I go back to full time work, I want to get a job with these people because they have so much fun! I was looking for what to use in my erotic story...I may have to use, The Professor!

Hey! My ear just popped! I can hear out the left side again! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Moving out...

I started blogger three years ago on the suggestion from my husband that I keep an online diary to try and keep my mind busy while I adjust to life outside of work. I'd just had Shorty, was really missing my work and friends and it was the kind of thing that kept me from hours of boring Sims play and MahJong.

So I blogged. And it's been great. But I think I'd like a bit more from my blog now. So I'm moving content over to WordPress. I'll keep this here for...well to avoid the pillaging of my blog title, so for as long as I want to. But my new home, which is still under construction, so I'll be blog hopping for a bit is: http://lyvvie.wordpress.com/

Hope to see everyone there soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yummy!

Just baked some amazing banana strawberry muffins. I always make muffins because tiny cakes are cool. I do have a mini loaf cake tin too, but muffins are what the kids love most. I made this recipe because I had brown spotty bananas that the kids said "EW!" too and strawberries that will probably be hairy by tomorrow. They have come out fantastic.

Banana Strawberry Muffins

2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tbs vegetable oil
1 cup soy milk
2 pureed smooth very ripe bananas
4-5 sliced strawberries (Too many and the muffins will be mushy in the middle)
Demerara sugar or large crystal sugar for topping (It discourages muffin penis)...yes that was my muffin, and muffin pan.

Mix dry ingredients, and then add wet and roughly mix together until mostly wet. Do not overmix, as a lumpy, slightly thick consistency is best. Pour mixture into lightly oiled muffin pan (I use a silicone pan). Add in 4-5 slices of strawberry and bury into the mix and top with a little demerara sugar. Bake in the oven on medium/high heat until a knife put in the middle pulls out clean(About 20 minutes). If using silicone, wait until you see the muffin pulling away from the sides of the pan.

These are wonderful. The best part is no worries about letting the kids lick the bowl as no eggs to worry about salmonella. It'll be hard to keep a few for Husband and Sassyface as gluttony urges are high just now. And I'm out of ripe bananas and can't make more. Will Be Good!

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Beginnings?

I don't have an SBD post for today because I'm in the middle of a few books and haven't actually finished one. I should just grab one, and read it until the end, but the attention span is distracted by the new and shiny, or if I get to a slower bit of a chapter I swap over. It's not fair, it's wrong, and yet I do it all the time. It's why it takes me so long to finish anything as I live my life this way. I get halfway through most tasks and then am distracted into something else. Usually one of my kids provides the distractions. I often wish I could post-it note the previous thing I was doing on my chest as a reminder "Washing dishes, water still running in sink!" once the child's emergency is finished.

It's also why I'm not the most disciplined writer. Especially as I write on the same computer that I also internet from. I really should buy some old junker laptop and purely write from that where it has no internet access at all. I remember the days when I envied my friend and her brand new Smith Corona word processor, which looked like a monster sized electric typewriter. Because she could type away her stories and have them. Done. There. The bliss. I have an iMac and find distractions it provides so seductive. It usually starts with something simple like a word check on Dictionary.com or a fact check that turns into a three hour immersion session on...fucking about. Plain and simple: it's all fucking about. Not literally, but just the supreme way to waste time.

I've recently decided I'm going to scrap the first three chapters of my novel. It's the same novel I started writing three years ago when I had lots more time available. Shorty was just a newborn and slept lots so i would have windows of a couple hours to get a couple pages typed. But that stopped by the time she was eight months old and the morning naps disappeared. Since then it's been one long distraction. I've been trained by motherhood to be easily distracted. I never used to be like this. At least I don't think I was, I think as far as hobbies went I could be fairly involved. So anyways, with Shorty starting pre-school I pulled out the old files and have been re-reading everything. It's been a lot of fun. On reading the first chapter again, I slashed out so much, it was obvious it needed renewal. Why so much description? Who cares about that? My worst habits: present and past tenses mixed together. First person or omniscient, I can't seem to break so it's my editing nightmare.

I still like the story. I still like my characters, and how patient they've been with me all these months. But the first three chapters are hard. They are busy, intricate and overdone. I made the Hero/Heroine's first meeting so convoluted it's no wonder I put the story away for so long. It was intimidating! I'm very thankful I recently read Johanna Lindsey, because she makes first meetings so easy, believable and uncomplicated it made me see: I'm trying too hard.

So I'm keeping a bit ("Kill your darlings" so say the masters), but I'm also untying the knots and freeing up the story flow so it's easier and not so smack, smack, smack with events. I must have been paranoid about having the story be exciting and interesting so just crammed a ton of action into it. Poor readers would've been getting a headache.

I feel good about this. Nervous; always nervous. I don't remember being nervous as a teenager about writing. I thought everything I wrote then was gold, baby! Pure Gold! But I'm far more apprehensive now. Downright cagey. Not as cagey as some *coughBethcough*, but now with a much needed humbleness.

Want to see the old first chapter? It's rather awful, I warn you. It reads more like a character bio than a chapter. I think it's where I was in the writing, getting to know my characters better, so it comes across in the story. It's why I decided it needed to be completely changed; it's not really a chapter. It doesn't lay out anything of the story I want to tell. But for a laugh, go ahead. I started up the old writing blog again just for this purpose. Read it here

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Guilty.

I've committed a Lyvvieism. I think a lot of people must do this kind of thing, where they have busy minds, busy lives and occasionally a bit of information is absorbed mentally that somehow gets mashed and misunderstood. But it's so realistic that it becomes a factoid in the mind. This happened to me on Thursday.

Thursday morning at 6:30am the alarm goes off and the three beeps to tell me the BBC is about to give the news headlines.I am rather ill, have a serious head cold and mild fever, feel like crap. News starts off with a death notice. I'm bleary but always have attention to recent deaths, well don't we all really? A morbid indulgence and yet selfish all the same as the death may impact on me in some way. I hear that Liberace has passed away at the age of 71.

SparkleMan

What a shame, and yet I've not heard much of him in recent years. Poor Liberace, what a brilliant pianist he was! A real showman, prime of his day. I saw him lots as a real young kid, along with tormented memories of ballroom dancing and bubble machines (What was that show, I know it was polka big band but I can't remember for the life of me!) I'm kind of touched by that report. Poor Liberace who always is viewed as gay and yet denies it so strongly. Have to admire his tenacity, and pity his denial. Ah well. The day must go on. I'll blog about it later, find a couple nice pics. Yeah that'll be good.

I go about the day, rather ill and can't manage much, phone in to say I'll not make it to work and then grab several DVDs to play on the PS2 while entertaining Shorty, as I can't walk her to school. I spend the day in bed half asleep. Friday is exactly the same.

Saturday I'm feeling much better and manage to follow the family along to the pool, visit Grandma Betty; who dishes up a major guilt trip and asks me plainly to please go to Auntie Hagrid's wedding. Not to worry about not finding a dress as I can go in jeans, be myself if I want to, but to be there is most important to her, she is 87 and wants to see her family, the whole family, happy. Damn it, Betty. Fine. I'll go to the fucking ingrate's wedding. Seeing as I have found a dress. Not that I bought it for the wedding, I bought it for my anniversary coming up in a couple weeks. But fine.

Stuck in the car for an hour and a half on the way back home because of bridgeworks, and don't think after two recent bridge collapses that that doesn't make me brick it completely, the news reports Pavarotti's funeral. Pavarotti too!? What a frigging nightmare, two great artists in one day, and they died on the same day! And were the same age! What a coincidence. No news about Liberace's funeral, huh, must be private. I mentioned this to Husband who nods and looks contemplative. We talk about Liberace doing a Muppets episode, but did Pavarotti? No we don't think so. Did he even do a SNL? Yeah, I think so! Can you imagine the two of them in the afterlife, hanging out and stuff, Liberace playing for Pavarotti, they'd be great pals for sure.

I went to work that night, talked about how the two died the same day with a few co-workers - how tragic. Wow? Really? That is shocking. Wow.

So this morning, Sunday, I'm on the Wiki for Liberace, to get some information for my blog post. It tells me, he died...in 1987. What? But I know I heard Liberace reported dead only on Thursday. I did. Frigging Wiki is crap, must be a hackjob. Fucking hackers! I'll check around, IMDB will have the truth. Ah. Well. How did this happen? I'm very confused now. Plus my whole post is shot to hell.

Pavarotti

It wasn't until I heard Pavarotti's name said in full that it made sense. To an ill, exhausted sufferer of a thumping head cold, woken at the awful hour of 6:30AM, Luciano Pavarotti could easily be mashed into: Liberace.

Yes it fucking well could. I only hope those who I mentioned it to will forget before I see them again...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm a tosser

Aughra made a wee mention that a friend of hers likes to take pictures while tossing her camera in the air for the whirl-winded effects. So of course I had to try it. I did it first with my Minolta but was way to nervous about dropping it so would only hold onto the strap. Even then I felt I was tempting fate way too much. So I snuck into the kid's room and borrowed Sassy-face's wee 2.0 megapixel toy camera. Her one works a million times better! For one thing, my one I think, snaps pics way too clean and fast. Sassy's one, makes it up as it flies in the air. Examples, My Minolta:
tossing minoltaMinolta tossed, boring.

Oh look, its grass. Oh look it's an upside down flower pot. Ho hum. Now, standing in the same spot but using Sassy's camera:

spun on its neck straptossedTossed self portraitTossed

What a difference! This camera has always given us a laugh because it warps the pictures and makes them all wavy even when you aren't throwing it around. Now, I have an excuse to appreciate them. Apart from the obvious fact that photos from my children are complete gold and works of utter genius.

Wanting a t-shirt now that says "I'm a Tosser"

There's a blog about it
And a Flickr community

Blah.

I have a cold. I hate colds. I've not had one for ages and this one was really sneaky. I suspect it's been working itself into a proper cold for a couple weeks as I've noticed I've become more tired and then a bit snuffly and then achey and now full blown cold. It's the stinging attack in my sinuses I really object to, as it makes me sneeze a lot. As a hold over from being pregnant, I hate sneezing as it makes me panic about wetting myself. I've kegeled my bits into buffness so it doesn't happen, but you know, one violent unannounced sneeze and anyone can wet themselves.

I feel really run down, which is annoying as Ive missed the gym. I can't face going, although a good sweat would probably kick the shit out of the cold. But I'm feeling rather miserable and just want coziness in the big chair with a blanket, cup of tea and the remote. I'm back in the gym tomorrow. I've spent the past two days cleaning my house and doing laundry. I got dressed this morning; I just can't stand lounging in pajamas today, and cleared the cupboards of out of date stuff. Actually went well as what I did find was only out of date in August. There was a lot of guilt thrown away too, crap I bought in moments of weakness but couldn't bring myself to eat all of it, so it's out in the bin.

My appetite isn't there, so I just put a butternut squash in the oven to slow cook for a couple hours, on the hopes that the smell will work its magic and get me hungry by then. I still have to go out and take Shorty to school this afternoon, and then go pick them both up after school. No no lounging about wallowing in illness for me, as much as I'd love it. I'd actually just love a day all to myself. No worries, no stress.

Shorty can't stop sneezing now.

We got the wedding invitation from Auntie Hagrid today. I can't possibly say a thing about it without coming across as a total bitch. But it's lame. Home made, with pattern cutting scissors and stickers and glue sticks. The information inside the card is crooked, not a little but a lot. And at the bottom is an added on sticker that says "Oopps, it's the 14th October, 2007" oh yes, she forgot to put the date of the wedding in the original printout. You want to see it? You do? Ok...but only because you asked.
Hagridsinvitehagridsinvite2

We can all see how very important that trampoline was now. I had a brief conversation with my mother-in-law about the trampoline. She agrees is terrible, but she's not said anything. See it's all Lurch, apparently. He did the whole thing without Hagrid's knowledge. My counter to this was "so what's stopping her now? Why didn't she defend her grandmother?" which was as much to her as it was to Hagrid as it's her Mom's garden. I'm still not really allowed to get involved.

Oh I feel better just sharing all of that, and the house now smells amazing and I'm getting a bit hungry, so I'm going to have my lunch, er...brunch. Elevenses, as it were.

Monday, September 03, 2007

SBD: Battle of the Books!

I was a bit obsessed with reading this weekend, just decided to have a read and read and read. So I read three books, but two were romances. the other one was the science one from Richard Dawkins.

These two romance books were both written in the same year, 2004, by accomplished authors. They are very different. One of them I liked, the other one I didn't.

A Loving Scoundrel by Johanna Lindsey and The Waitress by Melissa Nathan. I read The Waitress first, it's about a group of Londoners who all have messed up love lives and struggle to get by in a modern world. Our heroine, Katie, is working as a waitress is a dull cafe that caters to the commuter crowd. It's dead end until she can figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She is 24 at this point. The story starts at the engagement party of one her pals where she meets Dan, the ex of one of her friends. They are tipsy and have lots of in-depth drink induced chat that leads to a fabulous kiss. Oh yes, a kiss, a kiss to beat all kisses, a kiss that makes Buttercup and Wesley look like snogging teens: A Glittery Tongue Tangle as opposed to a Glittery Hoo-ha. I mean it was so good, he didn't even have to cop a feel to make her toes curl. Cor, that be some top tongue action going on between those lips.

They have a disaterous first date where she has a panic attack and walks out of the restaurant while he's in the toilet. Later, he and his partner buy out the owner of her cafe and Lo! Dan is her new boss. He's a bit bitter about the mid-date dump, especially after the GTT.

It's at this point I started to feel a bit let down in the story, a great build up and I wanted some top dialouge and reparte that lead to a passionate reunion, but what I got treated to was an exercise in "How to write Beta Heroes and their friends" where suddenly everyone became soppy, self-involved and over-emotional. I mean all the men cry, and not even over something serious like someone's death but over stress and being dumped. Big sobbing boo-hoos. the women all seem bitter and decidedly bitchy (except the family members) scheming and not ever to be trusted; even the best friend. It becomes such a tangle in inner-city "Mememe!" isms that I was flipping pages to skim to the dialogue muttering to myself "Get to the point, love." but it all got a bit washed out. Problem was: Too many people who didn't have a good reason to exist, too many subplots that didn't have anything to do with the main couple. It was too much like having lunch with a pal hopped up amphetamines intent on gossiping about people you've never met.

There is a HEE, which is fine. But all we ever get in one more drunken kiss. Yes they only seem able to have the GTT when drink is introduced. But the ending isn't any kind of permanent commitment, it's more: We're free to date now! I kept up with it for 500 pages so they could date freely. I just kept wanting a bit more Alpha in both of them.

Which is where I scored with my Lindsey. I've always loved Johanna Lindsey novels, and have read many. This is another installment of the Malory saga, here we've got Jeremy Malory, the son of James the Gentleman Pirate. He needs to help his pal Percy recover some jewelry he lost in a bet so they decided they'll need to steal the items and the best way to do that is to find a top thief. Which they catch, a young boy who sneaks into their room and tries to nick Percy's wallet. Yet, like his dad, Jeremy can tell this "boy" is nothing of the sort. It's of course, our heroine, Danny.

There's a lot of excellent banter between these two, a touch of Eliza Doolittle and there's the passion. Now, Lindsey shows us how you can have sex and passion in a romance novel without it becoming lewd and distracting. It's all about the saucy talk, the knowing glances, the averted eyes, and blushes; there's a lot of blushing in this one, Danny should just tell people she's sunburned.

Where this one also has too many characters, it's not a problem, because each of them actually help propel the plot and enrich the story. Not merely because it's full of cameos from the previous Malory stories, but even as a stand alone book, it works. The story isn't overworked with too many subplots and they all have a very a, b, c easy resolution.

My only concern was that it was easy to figure out whodunnit, and it did rely heavily on coincidence. I also found the constant reassertion that Danny was The Most Beautiful in the World Ever a bit much, and likewise, Jeremy was just The Most Handsome. Honestly, I could figure that out myself, I didn't need reminding every three pages.

Neither book is exactly what you call challenging, but fall into the category of fun quick reads. I was able to walk to work and read at the same time, and finished both in a day and a half. I think it's obvious I preferred the Lindsey and it's just that the characters are more my kind of people; strong of mind, word and spirit. I get enough of whimpering betas in real life to last me a lifetime.

(To alleviate my guilt about giving a negative review of Melissa's book, as she sadly died in 2006 of cancer, I've donated a wee bit to Cancer Research)