Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You know what I forgot...

I forgot to link to all those brave souls who took on the 5 questions! Bad Lyvvie!

Roxanne where after a few shocking and exciting revelations she tops it of with confessing "Oh and I’m a nose-picking, masturbating Phyllis Diller fan!" And I didn't even ask!
Brook where Brook breaks our hearts and also shares that she read cookbooks - me too! It's why I love Nigella Lawson and Giorgio Locatelli. Great reads!
Nej Confessions on wearing silver lamae and that she's the girl to share Carey Grant movies with. and after that you must read her her three part series about her adventure in a Korean bath house - no, go, you must, it's great!
Victoria whose teenage confessions had me nodding my head far too much and envying/sympathizing a lot.

It's also where they all learn they got the same five questions. The answers are all very different.

The Questions:

1. Is there one time in your life you refer back to often and wish you could change. If you could go back and change it, would you?

2. What was your biggest fashion nightmare where you thought you looked the hottest but on reflection, not so much?

3. Tell of a time you were really disappointed and how you got through it.

4. What are your addictions; past and present?

5. What are your passions; past and present?

Go see thier answers and make new friends.

Monday, January 26, 2009

SBD Broken Wing by Judith James

SBD Broken Wing by Judith James

Another present from JMC and a great one too. Here's the blurb:

Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, Gabriel St. Croix has never known tenderness, friendship or affection. Although fluent in sex, he knows nothing of love. Lost and alone inside a nightmare world, all he’s ever wanted was companionship and a place to belong. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy façade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy’s family has found him, and they are coming to take him home.

Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother’s disappearance. When he’s located, safe and unharmed despite where he as been living. Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own.

Becoming a mercenary, pirate and a professional gambler, Gabriel travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again and all he knows of love. On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey, and the greatest gamble of all, is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.

Short on time so the review will be short. I mostly liked this book. I was extremely in love with it for the first 200 pages or so where Gabriel and Sarah fall in love - and it's a slow, delicate then sometimes aggressive courtship where he's testing her to find proof that she really thinks he's nothing but a prostitute, but it doesn't come and he falls in love with her very convincingly, very sweetly and his devotion is never doubted. It was a very pleasurable read.

Where this book gets a bit confusing is the way it's been plotted. See, I'm in the habit of reading a romance where either they get married hasty-fashion and then discover their love, or they discover their love and get married at the end. This book has them falling in love and getting married halfway through and it almost feels like the book is done; but no! Gabriel goes a bit Westley in Princess Bride and wants to make his own fortune and support his (Countess) wife all by himself with pride intact. So after a hasty wedding he sets off to sea.

It doesn't go terribly well as he's swept overboard during a ship's battle in the middle of a storm. He does survive, sold into slavery and ultimately sold back to one of his former boy-loving clients. This is where things go a bit weak for me; Gabriel manages to not only escape his master, but also to sever those emotionally damaging ties forever - Yay Gabriel, way to slay the beast within. He then runs about gallivants about Europe hooks up with Blackmailed into service to some mercenaries and plays soldiers for a couple years. Eventually he gets back to Paris.

You'd think the first thing he'd do is write his beloved Sarah and let her know he was alive and coming home. You'd think getting back to her was the number one priority but no. He gambles, he makes money, he broods and pouts and sneers and hates everyone - himself most of all. He then moves back to London - still not writing to Sarah who thinks he's dead. More gambling, more brooding, making a name for himself amongst the ton.

Eventually Sarah hears about him while visiting in London and goes to see for herself. Wouldn't you be pissed off if you were Sarah? Wouldn't you be screaming blue murder if you'd found your beloved, who you've been pining and crying over for a few years in your desperate widowhood - when you find him entertaining a bunch of toffs and another woman on his arm?? You would wouldn't you. I know I would.

I just feel if this story had be rearranged a bit it would've been a keeper. Gabriel needed to show a bit more determination to get back to Sarah. I was getting a bit fed up with his self-loathing and had hoped it ended with Sarah's devotion. Something had to change in it's telling, something had to motivate him beyond mere survival which he's shown before isn't all that important to him. It all falls a bit flat and predictable after the wedding. I don't think Ms. James was all that invest beyond the romance - it was more of a struggle to read and I imagine, for her, a struggle to write.

But such promise from a new writer. I will look forward to her next book. This was her first and I can forgive hiccups and niggling things on a first.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Full Blown Aversion

I can't do anything that is actually important today. I'm in full-blown aversion of all responsibilities. I don't want to do chores, I don't want to clean, I don't want to write, or edit or anything. This internet offers enough mental distraction that I can, for a few minutes, forget I have a ton of things to do. And no matter how hard I try to wish and play Cinderella, there's no fucking fairy godmother or house full of helpful vermin to the work for me.

Laundry - Bah!
Dishes - Bah!
Baking - maybe later, that counts as chore aversion even though it increases the mess.
Sweeping/Vacuuming - Double Bah!
Editing the MS - Fuck off and be Bah!
Scripting Dialogue - Bah!
Put On Make-up and Do Hair For Child's Stage Debut Later Today - Bah!

But I am excited to go see Sassy recite her Scottish Poem before the school assembly. We're special invitees as our darling is reciting. A Scottish Poem. As Sunday is Robert Burns Day and the Scots go mad for it, making haggis, neeps and tatties dinners and reciting poems of the Bard himself. And yes, she's reciting it in Scots which her Dad had to help her with as I'm a tad hopeless and not as encouraging. I did help in my own way by showing her recitation techniques, and sharing the wisdom bestowed upon Jan Brady (Or was it Marcia?) to overcome any stage fright; to see the audience in their underwear. She now thinks I'm batshit crazy, but she did laugh at the thought of her Principal in his boxers - who wouldn't?

I have wasted my whole morning fucking about in the internet. This thing needs a timer and a lock-out option. I'm just very bad at self regulating/self management.

I'll go wash the dishes. Bah.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Am The High Nerd - Bow! says I'm a High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Quick Fun Facts:

375082 unique people have taken this test.

Based on these unique user's answers...

29.8% of test takers are gals,
68.4% are guys,
...the rest (1.8%) are confused.

15.5% of test takers get aroused by "iPhone," while
36.9% get utterly ill.

32.2% of all test takers would choose the Internet over sex, and
26.6% of married test takers prefer the Internet over sex.

Only 4.5% of test takers own a Jar Jar Binks t-shirt, though
49.7% of them don't own a lightsaber (priorities = messed up).

Monday, January 19, 2009

SBD Lord Scandal by Kalen Hughes

I took a day out of my weekend to read a book given to me by the wonderful JMC a few months ago called Lord Scandal by Kalen Hughes. This is the second in a "London Rakes" series, the first having been Lord Sin which I've not read. (She currently has a free short story download on that site link if you're interested)

First off, the blurb:

The last thing the Portrait Divorcée needs is to have her name connected to that of the equally infamous Brimstone. But the infuriating rake has made it very clear that he's bent on nothing less than her complete surrender. Rich widows take lovers. Poor divorcées become mistresses. And those with powerful families tread carefully, lest they incite their family's wrath, a tragic outcome she's all too familiar with . . .

Gabriel Angelstone, the handsome scourge of the ton, has taken one of life's lessons to heart: Love ruins everything. But the irresistible challenge of seducing Imogen Mowbray, a woman whose past is every bit as scandalous as his own, quickly has him rethinking that conclusion. Perhaps the only women worth loving are the fallen ones . . .

Let me bullet point my issues with this book:
  1. Imogen is called The Portrait Divorceé, yet it's not ever explained why she is called this. There is mention that a portrait of her was painted, a rumor that she had an affair with the artist because the portrait was was so good and because of this rumor her politically ambitious husband turfed her down the stairs and divorced her. I was only able to get this information after reading the whole book as it's so scant some tidbits aren't revealed until the last couple chapters.
  2. The mention of her powerful family is made and yet not much comes of it. There's one scene where Imogen's brother confronts her and threatens her but it's a page at best and then nothing til much later - I expected something much more, but it never came. At least try and cart her off to Australia for fuck's sake! That would've livened it up some. A mention that Imogen's mother wrote her a letter but its contents never revealed. We are told that her family are displeased but the anticipation of a family row never comes and is allover very disappointing.
  3. Imogen's ex-husband is also something of a dick and I expected a lot more mudslinging and protestations from that camp especially since his new wife is described as waspish and opinionated but alas we are deprived of that until the end and that particular exchange falls a bit flat and clichéd.
  4. There's a serious lack of dialogue. I never got the feeling that any of these people had any real personality or affection for each other because we never see them speak of it. Everyone talks in their heads - and there's a lot of head hopping even from paragraph to paragraph where I had to read back to make sure I knew who was talking. There's hardly any sparkling exchanges to peak the interest and propel their motivations. If this were acted out on stage it would be the most boring play ever. This was also a critique of her first book, so why didn't she remedy it when writing the second? Ms. Hughes, more dialogue please!
  5. Since I never got the feeling of any real emotion or regard between Imogen and Gabriel, the sex scenes were dull. It was just sex, and after reading as many romances as I have, that gets boring and pedestrian. I'd rather read erotica for at least there's some shock value. However, even that gets boring after a while.
  6. I felt this book wasn't really about Imogen, it was George's story. George is the heroine from the first book and she's supposed to be the confidant in this book but her personality is too big and she dominates. Ms Hughes needed to give more limelight to Imogen, as it was her story. Unfortunately, Imogen comes across flat and featureless and more like a leaf caught in the breeze, unable to take any control of these situations herself. She reacts, but never takes action. She cowers and shakes and leaves it up to everyone else.
  7. Gabriel, we're told, is a notorious rake (.com) who's sexually predatory and blah blah tell tell but never really shows. If anyone needed some spark he did. His only role was to be the sex instructor and protector. Sure it was fine to see him struggle with Imogen's personality flaws - she's shy then brazen then shy hot/cold/hot/cold - Did Ms. Hughes have any idea really how she wanted Imogen to be as a heroine?! She seems to have changed her mind a dozen times. Plus I never found him particularly "infuriating" just a bit impulsive and obsessive. Immature too, but maybe we expect that in a rake of the ton?
  8. Typos and bad grammar skitter across the pages and flag the book as poor quality.
  9. Some of the sex scenes made me cringe; (and this may be personal taste on my part but it's my review, so there) When a couple are having passionate kisses there shouldn't be "clashing teeth" or "tongue fencing", and when her orgasm was described as "She simply shattered" I had the mental picture of her bursting into a million dusty particles where Gabriel falls on the bed wondering "Where'd she go?"
The drama is set up and never delivered which was extremely frustrating. I was nearing the end of the book and getting decidedly sour as there was no way to pull this rather dull plot into redemption. Who edited this book? I want to assume Ms. Hughes actually wrote a whole lot more of this but someone red-slashed all the action from it. All the promise of excitement which never happens is the literary equivalent of blue balls.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Most Haunted is crap.

Honestly, it's a farce*. I'm stunned this show has been on the air for as long as it has. I admit I was glued to its first series - the first series had a far more skeptical lean to it. They set out to find and prove or disprove if there are ghosts in some of the UK's famously haunted buildings. A country that has such a long history there's a ghost on every block. A country where to get a regular off-season visitors, having an in-house spectre helps keep the business afloat. So it's not any wonder how a show like this would've been successful.

So in the beginning it showed the skeptic (the parapsychologist) showing up with all his gadgets to try and find readings of unseen activity, and then have a known medium and psychic (Derek Acorah) come into the house - a place he has no idea where he is as he's blindfolded and kept completely out of the loop (...because the guy is British and a Medium and may have at some point prior in his life been to some of these locations and already know the stories about them and certainly wouldn't be hard for him to research on the internet some of the UK's famous ghosts in the weeks prior to the first show but I digress,) walk through the house and give his impressions and talk to ghosts via his Ethiopian spirit guide, Sam. Although apparently he left the show after series 6 because he was kind of outed as a fake. It seems the leading parapsychologist, Ciarun O'Keefe played a trick on him by feeding a false name of a ghost that lived in Bodmin goal named Kreed Kafer via an assistant to see if Derek came up with it during filming. He did. Kreed Kafir is an anagram of Derek Faker.

All too quickly the show exposed itself as fluff. It was Derek being the weird, entranced, possessed voice of those "spirits" and what a show he puts on, it's a bunch of highly excited, hypersensitive, skittish ninnies screaming in the total darkness at the merest scratch, sniff or shift of each others movements. The facade of being a truth finding, ghost hunting, scam exposing team was crumbled. They're just a bunch of twats who scream in the dark.

Yet they endure! They just got a new medium, instead. They get five day long, 24-hour shows and still have yet to show anything that can't be explained off. There's always something not 100% in camera view so someone could be manipulating...doesn't matter. It's all shambolic. It's become a cheap thrill for those who like that Halloween spookiness to carry on all year. But really what gets me is the mass hysteria that gets everyone going when they turn out the lights and the night vision cameras come on. It's amusing to see everyone shitting themselves, but if any one of them were real skeptics they wouldn't be scared - they'd be looking for the real causes and omit the possibility of a ghost completely, but that's not exciting TV. No, seeing a bunch of exhausted, caffeined, suggestible fools scare each other witless if far better for the ratings. And those episodes where suddenly the men are being scratched and mauled by spirits - always seems to happen during the commercials! The ghosts just aren't accommodating at all to scratch the sound guy while the filming is live. Dumb ghosts just don't get it, do they. There's an old saying never do television with children and animals...and ghosts. They always disappoint, poop or steal the limelight.

So there you go. I sincerely do not got the appeal of this show. I understood it when it was new, but when it became a spectacle of foolishness I gave up. Why are others so tolerant?

*I kept waiting for Yvette to stand in the hallway and film the door opening all by itself. Those kinds of old locks are notorious for slipping. My old flat had one just like it, shut the door and after a few minutes the pressure would give and lock would slip. I wasn't going to spend a fortune to re-hang the door or fix the door frame. I also didn't scream like a sissy down the hallway.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Five Questions From Saz:

Saz was in an interviewing mood and sent me five questions. Saz asks:

Why do you blog?

I started blogging shortly after my second daughter was born because I was a bit housebound, bored senseless and needed to talk. I don't have many close friends, and certainly none that could manage the post-natal depressive, blathering, emotional person that I was. Also it got embarrassing that no matter how hard I tried to keep dry, my breasts would leak, so going out was near impossible (I could feed a small village), so Husband suggested a blog. I've kept it going all this time. It's habit. I like the internet friends I've made and even though I don't soak my tops anymore and go out more often than not, I find solace in writing out my thoughts, frustrations and opinions and leaving them behind. I'm always surprised to have comments and every one (apart from spammers and rude bastards) is a treasure.

If you were invited to a birthday party and asked to give the birthday girl/guy one book you love, which would it be? Why?

That's a hard question because if you buy a book for someone else you have to take their taste into account. I'd never give Husband my favourite book because he'd scowl and feel shafted. There are a few books I refer back to in my mind a lot. The Stand by Stephen King is psychologically stimulating until the whole Good vs Evil crap kind of ruins it. The first three books of Diana Gabaldon's Voyager Series, but the last three I've not bothered with because they kind of sucked. Pride and Prejudice isn't everyone's cuppa. I guess, I'd offer up Sophie's World by Jostein Gaardner. Purely because, "It's a bagatelle." Here's the blurb:

When 14-year-old Sophie encounters a mysterious mentor who introduces her to philosophy, mysteries deepen in her own life. Why does she keep getting postcards addressed to another girl? Who is the other girl? And who, for that matter, is Sophie herself? To solve the riddle, she uses her new knowledge of philosophy, but the truth is far stranger than she could have imagined. A phenomenal worldwide bestseller, SOPHIE'S WORLD sets out to draw teenagers into the world of Socrates, Descartes, Spinoza, Hegel and all the great philosophers. A brilliantly original and fascinating story with many twists and turns, it raises profound questions about the meaning of life and the origin of the universe.

What were your first five paid jobs?

Let's see, we'll not count babysitting, so first job was working in the Talbots warehouse filling orders, then I worked behind the deli at the local grocery store through some college years, then I worked in various places through a Temp agency that was pretty fun - again mostly warehouse work but I worked for Reebok, Yankee Candle, Museum of Fine Arts shop which was fun and was freaked out to fill an order for Jeffrey Dahmer a few weeks before he was killed in prison, then I moved to Scotland and worked as a dog groomer, then manager at babyGap then the Royal Bank of Scotland's Service Quality Manager at the head office branch. It's a fancy title for the person who manages all the complaints and teaches the staff to be obnoxious helpful.

That was more than five. Sorry.

Tell me two interesting things about yourself that may surprise me.

But I just did a "7 things" meme recently! Surely folks know everything about me by now. Did you know I was a certified dog and cat groomer? Vimto is my favourite diluting juice? I listen to trance music when in the gym? I fall in love with piano players - I have a serious thing for the piano even though I don't know how to play. I want to learn and then maybe I could love myself. My dream car is a '72 VW Beetle convertible but I'll put a Porche 911 engine in it. Surely everyone knows this stuff about me....

Describe to me your DREAM meal , company & Setting and reasons.

Rare roast beef, mashed potatoes with tons of melted butter, carrots, peas and corn bread. More butter. Pumpkin pie with cream for dessert. That's my favourite meal. Then again, It's been so long since I had an old fashioned Cape Cod Lobster meal; that would be nice too. I suppose the food isn't that important when the company is so good. I'd love to have a meal with Jerry Lewis, Weird Al (Sorry Dingo!), Carrie Fisher fascinates me but then none of them matter when I think about having a meal with my Dad one more time. And he'd chose the meal, it's only fair. When the right person is there, doesn't matter about the what or where.

Anyone else want to play? You can email me and I'll ask you five questions. You have to tell the truth though. So if I ask you if you're a nose-picking, masturbating Phyllis Diller fan - you have to be honest about it. Explanations too, I mean really - Phyllis Diller, wanking and nosepicking is some interesting multi-tasking!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Woman neglects blog and world is ok.

It's true! One can forget about a blog for a few days the world won't come to an end. Once the delirium tremors stopped life began to refocus a bit.

Nah I'm just just talking shite. That's what you expect from me, right?

Ok not entirely. maybe some - always a little. I've been thinking, as one does at the new year, about where I'm going and what I'm doing with the rest of my forevers and in the short term, next twelve months. There's the getting ready to move to Australia which is quite a checklist but at the moment it's not urgent as we're still in the waiting for visas stage and that could go on for another 2-6 months. Then getting the house ready to sell, but all that is for the good of the group. What about me. Little ole' me. Granted the going to Oz is my dream and they're caught in the dream too and are on board 100%, but am I making sure I'm taking care of what I need in the now? Well the answer is no. I'm not. Tying to figure out what I need is a whole 'nother thing. I mean...what the fuck do I really need? I mean, I got the basics. I got the food, clothing, home and love of my family. After that, everything is a want. After x-mas and birthday should I really be brokering about with wants?

So here's what I broke it down to: I want to write that fucking book I've been moaning on about for four fucking years. No I really do. I also want to overcome the total and crippling anxiety I get when I even try to write it. Find the time in my day to write it and to be honest there's plenty when I remove the internet and TV from my daily life. I could write the novel in a week. (Yes that's a deliberate exaggeration - have you met me? I also like to torture myself with unrealistic goals. )

So there. I want to write my book. Before Micky Rooney dies. That's a realistic goal right? (Quickly check IMDB...) yeah that's still a good goal. Overcome the anxiety - face it head on, talk it down small and kick it out the door. Cut out a lot of TV time even though ANTM series 11 and Boston Legal starts soon - and don't be a kant and ruin it for me either as I've not seen who wins - so they could be reward shows for writing to schedule? Fuck I just don't know. I have my Marshall plan workbook and I should just follow that and get it going.

Until then, I've been obsessing over weird stuff. Like at the weekend I bought a packet of chicken liver paté and when I opened it to have some I read that it was actually chicken liver parfait. Parfait? Are you parfait-fucking kidding me?? I even went and looked up the definition of a parfait: –noun
1. a dessert of ice cream and fruit or ice cream and syrup in alternate layers, often topped with whipped cream and served in a tall, narrow, short-stemmed glass.
2. any frozen dessert in which fruit, nuts, etc., have been folded into whipped cream or egg custard.

Mactools: says the same and won't let me copy/paste; the fuckers.

Merriam-Webster -
1 : a flavored custard containing whipped cream and syrup frozen without stirring 2 : a cold dessert made of layers of fruit, syrup, ice cream, and whipped cream

Concise Oxford - noun
1. a rich cold dessert made with whipped cream, eggs, and fruit. 2. a dessert consisting of layers of ice cream, meringue, and fruit, served in a tall glass.

You get the point. There should never be chicken liver in a parfait! The paté isn't even layered! It's been doing my head in and everytime I get it to spread on a cracker I'm reminded of the most vile dessert ever conceived; chicken liver parfait! Also, we walk about quoting Donkey "Everybody likes parfait!" but does everybody like chicken liver, cognac and mushroom parfait? Hell no! So as you can see, this has me a bit wound up. I mean really, parfait!

We stayed up to watch the Derren Brown special on C4 last night and I was annoyed by my left foot as it was sore and a bit swollen and my hip was bothering me too (No more jogging on icy sidewalks!), so I figured a good sleep was in order and I took and ibuprofen and also a paracetamol/codeine mix, something rarely done but it really works. I remember dreaming that there were crackers in my eye and I was trying to get the crackers out. I woke up a bit groggy and my eye was really sore and itchy, it was a couple minutes past 4 in the morning. When I touched it, it felt puffy. I went into the bathroom and put on the light and my left eye was nearly swollen shut and the inside top eyelashes were rubbing on my eye. I was a bit freaked but went to the kitchen and got a bag of frozen peas and cooled it down. I don't know what was going on, but I figure I was rubbing my eye in my sleep and my hands are a bit rough and I must have irritated it. It's still rather swollen today but it doesn't hurt or itch and there's no goop. So I'm wondering if it's a histamine response? Spider bite? clueless really. I bought some eye drops to keep it clear and if it's not better by tomorrow I'll go to the GP. He's going to be sick of the sight of me soon. But I think the drops and another couple peas-packs will sort it out.

I was then woken up by a weird dream a few minutes before the alarm went off at 7. It was the Ex again. Why does he have to come into my dreams during these episodes of reflection and life planning? Wish my subconscious mind would cut that tie. I mean really, The ex? And the dreams are always the same, where I'm annoyed at him for not being what I hoped for and I'm ready to move on and he's giving me guilt for not being there for him. This time he was moaning because I didn't make a fancy lunch for him. I told him he didn't deserve the nice lunch - those are for people I love. I was thinking I wanted him to just go out my house and fuck off already but he acted like it was his house. In reality it was a dream house - nothing I've ever really seen. I know it was a representation of the mental process of where I'm going, what I need and he seemed to be what I didn't need but really - did I need that particular reminder? No, thank you. I have it sussed, so can we cut that particular association, please?

Time for soup.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Four Years Old

My blog is four today. Yay blog!

That's all I've got for you. Maybe later I'll have more. But for now, I'll have cocoa.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I'm kinda bored...

I don't have much going on just now. Kids are back to school. Husband is on vacation, but stressing over his visa applications so he's no fun, although he's out today having lunch with a freind which is nice even if the friend is a former manager and is helping him with his references. I'm back to the gym and it's ok, but you know - the gym. I'm doing the bentos, I'm doing the cryptics, I'm doing the odd Japanese lesson, arigato.

But I just need something new. Something interesting. Something that'll hold my interest for a while. Sure the bento stuff is doing that, but the newness is a bit waned now and it's just delving into the fold now. I need something super new. Like learning the piano or painting. I have no artistic ability at all so the painting is out, and no room for a piano so that's out too. Needs to be something I can pick up and put down, or start where ever. No knitting or needlepoint though as it gives me headaches to squint so much. Shouldn't be overly self-indulgent. Nothing that leaves me a dust collecter so no pottery. And I'm not overly adorned so jewelry making is out. I detest scrapbooking and all those facy card making kits - how many of you have pulled all the stupid wee bits off of those fancy cards for recycling this year? Did you just chuck the whole thing? I stood there and removed plastic googling eyes, foam 3-d pads and puff-balls, cursing the fancy card makers and thier patron saint Martha.

I do like fiddling with my camera, but not sure if it's something I wish to obsess over. I kind of like the mystery of it - enforced ignorance. I've had my Minolta for years and only last night found the macro button. I know...that's pretty sad.

But Facebook can't be a hobby. Blogging either. Nothing web based should be a hobby. Like...wanking shouldn't be a hobby. No honestly, it shouldn't.

I know. I know what the thing is I should do. I know what it is I want to do. But...I'm scared. Such a big sissy pants!

Do you see how this whole post was a set up for an afternoon of self loathing. Bastard unconscious mind. Well forget it! I'm going to find something fun to do! You just watch me!

Also, I'm not wanting to talk about the Israeli conflict or the Atheist bus ads. Although the bus ads make me happy. Go Atheists! I also don't have much to say about Celebrity Big Brother although it is pretty fascinating to see LaToya Jackson, Coolio and Vern Troyer hanging out. Vern is a sweetheart and we share the same birthday. I'm keen to learn a bit more about Ulrika but the rest are just filler faces and I have no clue who they are. A tits-out model, a few failed generated pop band members, a former show host and a loud soap opera star. I'm a bit glad they brought back the original formula of Celebrity BB as the whole "We'll never make Celebrity BB again" shit that came after the racism attacks during Jade Goody's season was stupid. You can't cancel a whole show because some woman and her family are a bunch of racist pigs. Should channel 4 have edited out the racist attacks? No fucking way! It was a brilliant way to expose the way racism is perpertrated and that it has nothing to do with money or fame or upbringing - it's choice. It was a shame C4 was fined though...I think they were it turns out they just had to make a series of apologies. Last year's "celebrity" BB was entirely not worth watching, so I didn't. Do you folks in other countries get a Celebrity BB in the winter?

Can you tell I'm bored?

NoriKitchen sunKitchen sunCarrot shotCarrot and Pepper SticksBento for 09.01.09

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Smell me!

No really, you should. I bought this new shampoo yesterday because everyone, except me, seems to have greasy hair which means the fucking Pantene is getting chucked out. Well I suppose I could keep it as waste is bad and all but I got this new shampoo yesterday at Boots and it was a brand I'd never heard of before and it Smells Fucking Amazing! If you could mix all that's good in Coco Mademoiselle and Nico Rodriguez (by that I mean pull out the overbearing incense smell) then you'd have what this shampoo/conditioner is. It cleans well too. The kids' hair is so shiny you can see your reflection in their poker straight locks.

It's from Naked, which is kind of a boring name, but I don't care anymore. It was reasonably priced, fairly dull looking bottle but it said it would remove build up and clear all the crap dumped on their hair by the dreaded Pantene. The shampoo is Naked Detox and smells like green figs. The matching conditioner is where the magic is.

The other bonus is it's vegan friendly*. Now that may not seem like an all important thing, but you stand in the shampoo isle reading every fucking ingredient on the shampoo bottles and find one that doesn't have milk protein in it which could kill your child. Trust me - it's a bonus! Did I also mention the reasonable prices?? Cheaper than the famous hair dresser brands - all of them.

I shall investigate further into their product line. I'm very tempted by the cocoa butter body lotion.

I must swish my hair about to get more lovley aroma. *Swish**Swish**Sniff* Ahhhhh.

*(Although the conditioner has sodium lactate which is not vegan, but it doesn't cause an allergic reaction and is fine for dairy allergies.)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Years' Adventure

New Years' Day was lovely (Anyone annoyed about the apostrophe yet? I've been waiting for someone to comment or email; but I've heard nothing. So accepting!) and scary and wild and beautiful and maybe a bit dull all at once.

After a quiet morning where I got a set of opal earrings and a gorillapod for my camera: both I love, we decided to take a drive in the Highlands. The roads would be abandoned with many hungover Scots taking the day in quiet and forced motionlessness. We'd been talking a couple days earlier about how the oldest tree in Europe was in Scotland - really? Here? We could see that. It was only an hour away. so off we went enjoying the empty roads to the town of Fortingall to see the Fortingall Yew. I've never seen a yew tree up close before and I figured since it was estimated to be about 2000-5000 years old it would be pretty big, but no. I have seen bigger yew trees on TV. Apparently souvenir hunters would nip pieces of the bark and wood and have reduced the tree. Selfish twats.

On this trip I forgot my camera, but Husband and Sassy had theirs. Neither of them took any pictures of the Yew. To be honest, Sassy was far more interested in the ice that had formed in the font outside the church next to which the yew lives. Solid ice is not something the kids have seen often. On this trip they saw their first icicle too. Just down the road from this spot was a small ring of standing stones I wanted to go see, but we forgot, and in another field was a grass covered cairn with a head stone on top that we were worried we'd be in trouble if we crossed the fence for a looksie. We stopped for scones and coffee in the restaurant of the lovely hotel there before heading off to go see Loch Lyon.

Along the way we stopped a couple times to take pictures as the day was beautiful and full of warm golden sunshine and eerie mists. We were stalked by an enthusiastic robin at one point who would've gotten into the car with us if we'd let him.

We went to the very deserted Lubreoch hydroelectric dam and had some wonderful views down the Glen Lyon where there were patches of thick snow (Ok, four inches or so) because there are areas of the glen that get no sunlight. We saw a glacial corrie which was neat. According to Husband, a corrie is where glaciers are formed. They're a bowl shaped formation on the sunless mountainside where during the ice age, snow would gather and compact over centuries before a mild thaw or the sheer weight of the thing would set it off on a path.

Now. On the way we ended up on a pretty scary road. We followed the Garmin and it was absolutely right, but let me tell you - all those stories about Highland roads being fucking scary - TRUE! Single lane, two-way roads with no guardrails and hundred foot drops into rocky fields or frozen rivers where you'd not be discovered for days. If another person does come along and there's no passing point, someone has to reverse along their road until they come back to a passing point.

On the way to the dams I got the "Don't look down" view and Husband was quite happy pointing out all the lovely things. I was remaining calm and trying to shoo out the images of a flaming death bouncing down a mountainside. It was starting to get dark and we figured we'd take the shorter road through the glen to reach Loch Tay and then head home. The sunset sun was stunning all magenta and gold. As we began the trek up another single lane road through the glen there was a sign, "No salt or grit beyond this point. Find alternate routes in winter."

"Did you see that sign?"

"No, what did it say?"

"No salt or grit beyon this point. Find alternate routes in winter."

"Yeah, but it's just a bit of frost. We'll be fine. It's not like I'll be driving fast."

And thus began the longest drive ever. We barely got above 15mph and were Shitting Ourselves the whole time. Husband got the scary view down the side of the cliff this time. Using the calm voices as to not alarm the kids. The kids were fucking amazing and were so deep into their boredom that they didn't even know they were inches from death. At one point Husband asked if we should go back but I said we should press on, we'd just been passed by a white Fiesta (Thankfully he waited at his passing point for us) and if he could do it, it would be ok. We drove by the second dam barely daring to flick our eyes over to see it. Eyes on the road. Eyes on the road. Fucking road. Where there's fucking lambs skipping about and wandering across the road. And it's getting dark.

We were never happier to be driving down the final part of the road where we could see Lock Tay nestled in the valley, covered by a thick fog so it looked like the valley was bottomless and there were clouds below peaks. "It's freaky," was all Sassy would say. That's become her favourite saying. Everything is "Freaky" "Scary" or some other negative which annoys me.

In the town near Loch Tay I found a toilet, where Husband had to move the car around and shine the headlights in as it was pitch black and no light switch. I'd gone into that admiring small things to distract the mind, where I was fascinated by the fact that when I pulled the toilet roll from the dispenser it made little sparks. Was it static or phosphorous? Pull some more and let's try and figure it out..."Are you done yet?"

Finally got home. Got Chinese food for dinner. Watched Wallace and Gromit's newest (It's good) and didn't talk about it. Just wanted to chill. Try and forget it for just then. Some pictures are here.
and also Here.
Scary. Beautiful. Fascinating. That's the Highlands.

Friday, January 02, 2009


I have a post to do about what we did for New Year's Day because I still have to get the brick out of my pants. Everytime I think I'm past it, I remember and the brick comes back. but anyways....

I was tagged by Scarlet to tell you folks 10 interesting things about myself. I hope I can find ten...

Rules are:

A. List 10 honest things about myself (TRUE and interesting things - not just the color of yours socks!)

B. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers. (There was an award?)

  1. I love having miso soup because the Brownian Movement fascinates me and it lasts for ages in miso soup. Who needs a lava lamp?
  2. I used to loathe mushrooms. Not the eating ones, but the wild ones because they could be poisonous, so I'd kick and smoosh them. then I got a mushroom identification book with lots of pictures and now every Autumn we all go out searching for and identifying mushrooms.
  3. My one superstition is that Rainbows fortell good luck. I really wanted one yesterday to show me the year would be a good one, but there was no rain to be seen. At sunset, the high cirrus clouds had sufficient ice crystals to form a full arced rainbow. The colours were heavily magenta tinted, but there it was; my sign.
  4. I am a major lightweight when it comes to alcohol except for gin. With gin I can reach a certain level of tipsy and maintain it all night. Also gin doesn't depress my system and actually gives me more energy where anything else will make me fall asleep no matter how much caffeine is in it.
  5. I despise liver, but like paté.
  6. I don't get BO. Or more honestly, my BO doesn't smell like normal BO, My BO smells like musty blankets. And I still find it offensive as I have allergies and it triggers psychosomatic symptoms.
  7. I've been teaching myself how to read Japanese for a year now. I still struggle but I can read it about as well as a Japanese first grader whose mother slips them cold medicine in their breakfast.
  8. I love peanut M&Ms and will suck them down to the peanut, then chew. It's wrong to just chew them candy shell, chocolate and all. They're savourable.
  9. I use a lot of body lotion and sunscreen.
  10. I wish I could be a more touchy-feely huggie kind of person but I worry about respecting other's personal space and can't read if someone would invite that kind of forward behaviour or not. Of course I broadcast every feeling on my face and I'm sure I end up making everyone feel uncomfortable. So I just don't. Except with my family.
Any takers??