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December 11 Reverb Broads Prompt: How are you like your mother? And if you’re a mother, how is/are your kid(s) like you? Courtesy of Jessica at http://profbanks.com

How am I like my mother? It is probably easier to ask how I am not like my mother.
I look like my mum. Red hair. Vertically challenged.
But most of all…I SOUND like my mother.
When I answer the phone everyone assumes they are talking to her.
When work calls for me, they ask mum if she can come in.
I don’t mind being like my mum, not at all, but I would really like it if the next time someone mistakes me for my mother when I answer the phone, that they would refrain from asking me, “Do you know you sound JUST like your mum?”.
Yeah dude, I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.

December 13 Reverb Broads Prompt: What are three things that you are better at than most people? Courtesy of the charming Catie at catiecake.wordpress.com

1. Crafty stuff. If I see something that I like the look of I can generally find a way to duplicate it, and if it’s something technical it generally doesn’t take me long to teach myself how to do it. I taught myself how to restore furniture, how to crochet, and how to knit.

2. I can pick up accents very easily. I am not sure that this talent is worth anything in the everyday world. But it can be amusing.

3. I am a human spirit level. I have a very finely tuned sense of straight. I can tell when paintings aren’t straight, when things aren’t centred in a space, when lines aren’t straight in a drawing. Of course I don’t need everything to be straight, but when they should be straight, I can see it.
I can also tell when the aspect ratio of a television is not correct. I can tell when the image has that slightly squished look, and everyones heads are slightly more sideways oval than they should be. I absolutely cannot stand it when the ratio of a TV is out of kilter. I need my people to look normal. I watched an entire movie at a friends place the other night with the incorrect ratio, and I had to watch it again another day to completely take the movie in because I felt like I couldn’t see the image. (It might have also had something to do with the movie being good, but you know, whatever.)

I made it back from Camp Quality. We got back on Friday. What a huge week we had.
I’m alive, but I’m in serious need of vegetables.

So now I have some catching up to do. Let’s see how many prompts I can do without boring my select group of readers to death. I’ve selected some, but not all of the ones I have missed just so you’re not all sitting here reading until christmas.

Here goes…

December 2 Reverb Broads Prompt: “What is the stupidest thing you did this year? What about in your whole life? You can take stupid to mean: embarrassing, dangerous, funny, lame, whatever you consider “stupid.” via Kassie at Bravely Obey.

The stupidest thing I’ve done this year? I am sure there are many things in that category, but right now, lets just say that taking an afternoon shift at the hospital, followed by agreeing to double it up until 7am the following morning, getting three hours sleep and then saying YES to free Elton John tickets when I was supposed to be packing for Camp Quality, may have just been the most crazy stupid 48 hours of this year. This is why I only managed day one of Reverb before I disappeared.

December 3 Reverb Broads Prompt: How did you become more of a grown-up this year? Or did you pull a Peter Pan and stubbornly remain childlike? via the short but sweet (her own words) Bethany at  bethanyactually.com

Grown up? Is that what I am? I think my recent bout of growing up has been going on a little longer than just this year. If you had told me at the age of 19 that I should be a nurse, I would have laughed at you. Somewhere in the last few years I’ve evolved. I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve been sick, I’ve gotten better, I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, and I turned around and bit him right back, the little bastard. I’ve travelled some more, I’ve made some amazing new friends all over the world who I’d be lost without, and somewhere in there I realised that I didn’t need to sit back and settle for a career that was doing me no favours. I realised that another 35 years of being spoken to by men who assume that a woman cannot possibly know anything about construction was 35 years too much.

Here I am, all *cough*mature*cough*, and I’ve just successfully finished my second year of a nursing degree. I’ve been given not just one, but two new jobs at the largest hospital in our region, the second of which starts in the new year, and will guarantee me regular hours. Although I am not registered, now when someone asks me what I do, I can actually say that I am a nurse, because I am, even if it is a lower level version. Can you believe it? I sure can’t!

December 4 Reverb Broads Prompt: In the movie version of your life, which actor/actress would play you and the significant players in your life? What kind of movie is it (e.g., made-for-TV, action, emo/indie, etc.)? What would be the major plot points, and how will it end? courtesy of the lovely Emily

So this one I have no clue how to answer…I loved Kassie’s response. I’ve been sitting here all evening, reformatting my Mac’s hard disk and watching chick flicks, so here’s what I’ve got. I’m like Ginnifer Goodwin in Something Borrowed, or He’s Just Not That Into You, where someone else is the leading lady, and I’m the friend. The one the guys realise a little too late that they let her slip through their fingers, but in my case, Justin Long hasn’t made me his exception just yet, and neither has Tom Cruise look-a-like Colin Egglesfield for that matter. Right this very moment I’m watching The Holiday, and I could also totally be Kate Winslet. The one who loves someone from afar, but can’t have the guy because he found someone else instead. Now where’s my Jack Black?

December 7 Reverb Broads Prompt: Who or what makes you laugh so hard that milk shoots out of your nose and why? Slapstick, dry witty comedy, your kids, Monty Python? courtesy of Kassie.

Kevin Smith films. (37? This number makes me laugh whenever I see it, ANYWHERE!)
Scrubs makes me laugh, maybe not milk fountains, but I laugh a lot.
Wil Wheaton any time he tweets conversations with his animals, and a lot of other stuff he writes too.
The Bloggess makes me laugh every single time I read her post about Beyonce the Giant Metal Chicken. If you haven’t had the pleasure, please read it here. Knock-knock, motherf**ker!

I know there are a lot of things that probably make me laugh enough to produce a milk fountain, but when someone asks you to list them, it really is dammed hard.

Oh. Kassie…I am a Monty Python virgin, but I do own a copy of Holy Grail, and it’s sitting next to my DVD player waiting for its turn.

December 9 Reverb Broads Prompt: What was your favorite children’s book? courtesy of Niki at
http://nikirudolph.com

I don’t know if I can pick an absolute all time favourite book from my childhood, but there is one that has remained in my memory since I was 11. It’s called The Phantom Tollbooth. When I was in 5th grade, my teacher read us this book. He spread it out over the course of a few days, and he also screened the movie adaptation.

I loved it.

I can’t recall if we did anything educational in relation to it, I just remember loving it. So when I was living in Thailand I came across the book in the elementary school library (I was a sophomore), and I borrowed it and read it. As an adult I found an ex-rental VHS copy of it, which I still have, but I plan to upgrade to a DVD eventually. I even found a copy the book for my kindle. Now I just need to read it again to find out what it was that made me remember this book above all others 23 years later.

Ok. I’ll leave it there I think. That’s enough insight into my brain for the moment.
Happy Monday everyone!

Welcome to my blog that I use so infrequently I’m lucky I remember the password. I have decided to participate (as much as possible) in Kassie’s ‘Reverb Broads 2011’. Perhaps this might give me cause to log into here a little bit more often. I must point out that while these posts start from December 1st for everyone else, I live in the future, and will therefore be posting a day different from everyone else.
Today is December 2nd and if you’re curious, the weather is crap. Take my advice those who live not in the future, and stay inside. It’s not worth going out and getting all cold and wet. Summer my butt, this is a rehash of winter.

Ok. So the first prompt for Reverb 2011 is this.
December 1: Reverb Broads Prompt: “If the you of today could go back in time and give advice to any of the previous yous, which age would you visit and what would you tell them?” via the lovely Kristen at kristendomblogs.com

Well. Where should I start. I am sure I could go back in time and warn myself to not date idiots x, y and z, but honestly, if I didn’t date them, how would I know to avoid cyclists in my future relationships?

When I strap myself into the drivers seat of my DeLorean DMC-12 and flip the switch on the flux capacitor, I’ll set the time circuits to August 30th, 1992, a significant day in my own personal history. This is the day that I boarded QF-1 (Qantas Airways flight 1) to Bangkok, Thailand. A flight that would change my life forever in ways that I wouldn’t realise until I was much older.
I’d arrive before I boarded the plane, and I’d have a quiet word with myself when nobody was looking. It won’t be hard for the younger me to recognise myself, seeing as at the age of 34, I still seem to look much the same, just fatter (how typical).

The list of things I need to tell myself is endless, but it goes a little something like this.

  • You are going to miss out on at least half a season of Beverly Hills 90210 because cable TV in Thailand is way ahead of Australia (how that works is beyond me). Deal with it. Once you get over this fact you can enjoy the fact that you are seeing the show months before your friends back home.
  • Pick your favourite 3 albums to listen to on the plane and just pack those in your carry on. You will never listen to all of these ones that you packed ‘just in case’ because in flight entertainment, even in the 90’s and before personal screens, will be way more enticing, and you still have to carry that bag full of crap.
  • Listening to the audio tapes your friends made in secret before you left will make you cry bucketloads…but you will survive.
  • You were kicking butt in Australian history back home, but when you get to ISB you aren’t going to do so well. Don’t stress…history isn’t your thing, clearly. It won’t have any bearing on your career(s) no matter how much your teacher with the unshaven legs and armpits tells you it will.
  • Don’t join the age group swimming team. You’ll hate it, and you’ll hurt your knee. Not worth the effort.
  • Cliff’s notes are a perfectly acceptable way to get through Shakespeare. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
  • You won’t realise it at the time, but what starts as a sophomore class in photography, will turn into an obsession when you are older. Embrace it early, don’t wait for digital.
  • Yes…cameras will go digital. Amazing right?
  • When you are doing lights and sound for theatre productions, make sure someone teaches you about that secret button to skip over a light cue you missed BEFORE you actually need to use it. That missed light cue in ‘The Crucible’ looked a little silly.
  • Take spare batteries for your walkman. Murphy’s Law says that when you don’t, your school bus will get caught in a Bangkok traffic jam and you will have NO MUSIC to keep you company. (And iPods are a good 15 years away yet)
  • Speaking of traffic jams on the way home from school. Your record will be approximately four and a half hours. Go to the bathroom before you leave school…SERIOUSLY!
  • Don’t be so afraid to try out for theatre productions. Light and Sound is fun, but so is being on stage.
  • Don’t wait until you move back to Australia to decide that you like all the fancy schmancy tropical fruits. The cost 10c in Thailand and a fortune back home.
  • That weird worm/snake thing that chased you while diving will not kill you, though you will think it at the time.
  • Don’t be the catalyst for moving home in 1994. There is SO MUCH more stuff for you to experience in this place.
  • Getting off the late bus at Mike’s soi is not wise, you will get yourself lost, don’t do it.
  • There are so many things I could tell you about this new life but I won’t. You need to find it out for yourself. But I do need to say this…don’t be afraid of it.
    When you are an adult, and have been home from Thailand for a lot of years, you will realise that this was one of the most amazing and defining experiences of your entire life.
    You will realise that this country, and the amazing school you are going to attend will have a profound effect on you. (Also, learn the difference between effect and affect. Not getting it is still driving me crazy.)
    Heck, you don’t have to wear a uniform to school.
    You will look back on this later as something you wish had lasted longer, even though at the time you were glad to be going home.
    You will realise that kids your age don’t get to experience this, except in rare opportunities like this.
    You will realise that the desire to travel the world started here, in the Qantas Business Class Lounge, and later, in the smelly, dirty, noisy streets of Bangkok, and that that desire would take you to Egypt, and the United States…THREE TIMES (if you count Hawaii), and back to Thailand again where you will realise that you loved it all along.
    You will LOVE that moment when a 747-400 throttles up and the nose gear lifts off the ground, more than any other part of flying.
    You will also develop the ability to speak Thai without a hint of a foreign accent. This fact will amuse locals and make them laugh or look at you like you have two heads when you travel back there again.
  • This experience is going to take you to a friends wedding, on the other side of the world more than 14 years after you leave Thailand. Thailand, in it’s own special way, will lead you to a friendship half a world away with an amazing woman named Bethany.
  • Get on that plane. Don’t be upset for the friends you are leaving behind, they will be there when you return, and if they aren’t, so be it. But the friends you make while you are there, will influence you for a long time to come…just make sure to write more letters home ok? You suck at that. In the end, the amazing invention of Facebook will bring you back into contact with everyone you know overseas…it is amazing, no matter how much you want to avoid it.
  • Oh…and on a totally random note. In 2011 when you decide to go to a convention to meet an actor from your favourite TV show…BUY THE VIP TICKET! It might be more than you can possibly afford, but it will be worth it to hang with Erin who you haven’t seen in years, and to get to chat with Colin Ferguson over dinner in Sydney. I’m kicking myself for that one.🙂

Now…go board that plane, and when you get off at the other end, just a tip, hold your breath when you get to the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 49. Welcome to Thailand!

Fun With Accents

I was reading a post on my friend Bethany’s blog today about the differences in accents and regional pronunciations of various words. From there I found that Sarah had also made a video too. I thought this sounded like fun, so after watching the premiere of Hawaii 5-0 (Alex O’Loughlin – RAWR!) I decided to record my version of the accent game.

I have since watched Jen’s video, filmed in secret in her bathroom. It took me three attempts to film my video due to a feline interruption and one version where I rubbed my nose and I decided it looked very unattractive.

First up, my background…i’m an east coast Aussie. I was born in Brisbane, where the recent floods occurred, but I have lived in New South Wales most of my life. I live in a city called Newcastle, about 1.5 hours north of Sydney.

When I was 15 I moved with my family to Bangkok, Thailand, where I lived for two years. I attended The International School of Bangkok which was run in line with the American school system. For me this meant either adjusting my spelling and pronunciation to please my US teachers, or buck the system and argue my point. Those of you who know me, would know that I went with the second option. Myself, and a small group of Aussies, used to correct our science teacher every time he pronounced Aluminium the ‘other’ way, until he gave in and started saying it both ways. During an english class I had to prove to my teacher that where the US uses the letter Z, we often use an S.

But from this experience I also developed a few habits and talents. To this day I still ask to use the ‘bathroom’ instead of ‘toilet’ because I think it sounds far more polite. Friends used to mock me asking if I was going to go and take a bath. My talent from those years…the ability to switch my accent from Australian to flawless (albeit non-specific) US in the blink of an eye. It came in handy more than once during my first US vacation.

I’m also a bit of an accent sponge, so if I am speaking to someone with a Kiwi, South African, English etc etc accent, I am likely to pick up elements of that accent while I am talking to them.

So here are the words….I copied my list from Sarah’s blog because they were spelled the way I’m familiar with, and i’m lazy so this meant I didn’t have to correct them myself.

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theatre, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pyjamas, Caught

The questions:

  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Now…for my video. Cross your fingers that I have uploaded this correctly.

So, hopefully there you have it.
While waiting for my vimeo upload to finish I did also get to watch Bonnie’s video and I believe I spotted one more in my Twitter feed that I need to go and watch.
This has been fun, I really must do more of this blogging thing.

Digging up ideas.

I’ve had an Etsy store set up for a while now. When I say ‘set up’ I mean, I named it, and did all of the other online stuff necessary for an Etsy store, but that is as far as it ever went. This blog was set up as a partner for the store so that if it ever did any good I could blog about what I was making.

I mean, all the cool independent designers and artists I follow on the internets seem to have a blog to talk about their ideas on. I was just planning ahead for that inevitable success that would allow me to quit my day job. Ha ha.

Anyhow, today my mum dropped several small bags of material offcuts in front of me that had been cleared out of my Grandmothers linen press. I sat on the living room floor and sorted them into two piles. Cute/funky and highly unattractive to anyone with normal sight.

I halved the original pile which is good. Less stuff to store. I have a growing collection of random fabrics and the like that I want to put to good use. I need to extract the various tubs of stuff from under my bed and see what’s there. Then I need to put my brain into gear and make something of some of it.

My ideas originally were to make stuffed toys, cushions and maybe some bags to sell on Etsy. But of course I never followed through. This latest bag of stuff has ignited these ideas again. I have plenty of time on my hands right now. So I just need to come up with some designs.

This of course is the hard part. I am afraid that I will come up with something that is actually a product of things I have seen elsewhere. I figure I can start with cards and gift tags seeing as I have a small collection of paper products left from my days as an addicted scrapbooker. Now if only I could find my paper trimmer. I have no idea where I have put it. Most likely it is in one of those ‘safe places’ that slips my mind ten seconds after I put it there.

Ok…so yeah. This is what is going on in my head right now. Ideas. I need them. I think I might start with crochet….at least I can keep my hands moving while I plan.

Lazy Saturday

So, it’s saturday.

I’ve had the house to myself all week which has been nice…though I really do need to do some cleaning.
I’ve been trying to do some small jobs that needed doing, like shredding the boxes of financial stuff from more than seven years ago. This particular task was going well, until yesterday afternoon when I thought I was finished. Turns out I was wrong and the largest file of stuff was sitting on the couch in the corner, silently mocking me.

The little shredding machine we have also mocks me. Every so often it overheats and you have to turn it off for an hour to recover. It is also mocking me right now. It is sitting on the living room floor with a half shredded piece of paper in it. It is reminding me that I was daft for thinking that shredding all of this cr*p would only take a day.

At least I get to watch my backlog of shows and movies while I am shredding all of the evidence that I was paid terrible money in the early years of my job. This does not mean that I get paid well for it now. I just get paid better than I did in 2001.

Not being at Uni is weird. I keep thinking there is something I should be doing. Also, my body has managed to time shift by about three or four hours. It now thinks that 4am is a good time to sleep, which makes 11am a good time to wake.

This however, means that if I want to chat with my overseas friends on Christmas Eve while baking apple pies, I should be perfectly adjusted for the time difference by then.

I still need to carve my halloween pumpkin. Yes, I know i’m late, but seeing as we don’t really do halloween here it’s not a big deal. The information sticker tells me the pumpkin will last for a while uncarved. But I really should do that soon. What baffles me most right now is the fact that I am sure I only bought that pumpkin last week, yet the calendar tells me that it’s been a month. Would someone please tell me where I put November, because I seem to have misplaced it. My calendar is mocking me.

I’ve just noticed a handy little word count at the bottom of this window. Thank you WordPress for letting me know that I can write nearly 500 words in a mere 10 minutes when i’m talking about nothing at all, but I can’t write more than 100 in a whole evening when i’m writing about something my lecturer expects me to care about?

Ok. Time to go and show that shredder who’s boss. I think I might watch some sci-fi while I am at it.
Enjoy your saturday.

No, seriously.

I finished my exams yesterday and now there is NOTHING I should be doing. Well, nothing that I am legally required to do, or required to do for the purpose of passing a subject. It feels rather strange. What do I do with my time now that I don’t have to read a textbook, write a paper or study for an exam? I have even more time on my hands now that I am not getting any work.

I have plenty of knitting to do. I’ve lost count of the various projects that I have started recently. I have a tendency to knit what currently takes my fancy, unless of course I am knitting to a deadline, which is rare for me. Though I do have a deadline on something I am knitting right now.

I also have my Kindle. It’s collection of books is growing.
Back in October when I was away at Camp Quality, I read the first book in the ‘Tomorrow’ series. I liked it a lot more than I had expected to, and so I was really kicking myself that I hadn’t loaded the second book into the Kindle before I left. So, I could probably start that one.

But there are so many things I want to read right now. It creates a bit of a problem for me. Instead of just deciding this is what I will read first, I consider how I could be reading so many other things, and it means I don’t start any of them. Though, that could have just been the strange state of my brain while studying. Perhaps it is better able to choose now that uni is finished.

What do you think I should be reading?

 

Don’t you think?

So, it’s about time that I started to make use of this blog.

The original idea behind this blog was to pair it up with an Etsy shop so that I could make use my my ridiculous stash of paper left over from my scrapbooking phase. I had planned on making some cards and tags and the like, and sending them out into the wide world of Etsy to see if they found new homes, but of course, life intervened and I haven’t done a single thing with this blog, or Etsy.

I realised today on the drive home from work that I am a ‘dive in the deep end’ kind of person. This year I returned to university after ten years away from tertiary study, and fourteen from high school. I am a first year nursing student, and I am loving it. I should have done this long ago, but sometimes, things have to happen to make us sit up and take notice. For me, that was redundancy, followed by eighteen months working in a job that sent me into depression and left me on medication. I realised, that I no longer loved the job the way I used to.

And so it was time…..

I applied.
I got accepted.
I gave up my full time job and became a student again.
I am thirty two and I am a University Student. It feels amazing to be doing this…….

The other place I like to dive in at the deep end is with my knitting. I jumped from crochet to knitting in the blink of an eye, all because I read a few blogs, really good blogs, and admired all of these beautiful socks that people were knitting. I had to try it. I had to find out how to do it.

I knitted a scarf to be sure I could both knit and purl, and then off I went. Four double pointed needles and two hands covered in thumbs.

One thing about me though, that people always tend to point out to me, is that I just do things, without thinking too much, often without instructions, and always, with not much care about if I can make it work. And so now I knit socks.

What is funniest about this? I am yet to finish a pair. Because there is always something new that I just ‘have’ to try.

If you are at all curious, feel free to come swimming in the deep end with me.
I like it here.

Thrown for a Loop

So.

It turns out that I can knit.  Who knew?

I can even knit socks. Most of the time without stabbing myself with the array of needles it takes to knit a sock in the round. It really hasn’t taken me long to become a true knitter. One of those people who stashes yarn because it looks pretty, dreams about new projects when the current project is only half finished and then casts on said project because I could do with a change of scenery.

My latest obsession, next to the desire to finish an actual pair of socks, is a round pinwheel blanket. I want to make them for the next influx of babies entering into my world. But of course, as with everything I do, I like to set myself a stupid crazy challenge. A challenge that starts with casting on an insanely small number of stitches IN THE ROUND! I must be nuts. There is no other explanation.

Now if only I didn’t need to go back to work tomorrow. I could spend my days knitting like a crazy woman.

Confessions….

So, I have a confession to make.

I have a yarn addiction. Or as I like to call it, a habit!

It really is quite ridiculous. A few years back I was a die hard scrapbooker. I have the paper stash to prove it. And in between addictions to paper, I would occasionally take up a crochet hook or a pair of knitting needles and attempt to create something functional. But in the end, I always gave up and went back to the paper.

Then one day, the paper and I stopped talking. I still have much of it. Way too much of it. In fact I really need to do some deshitting and take some of my stash to a friend of mine who will make far better use of it than I will.

For a while after the paper addicion ended, I didn’t really get totally hooked on anything in particular. But then, earlier this year, I rediscovered my small stash of basic acrylic yarn and my crazy expensive Hamanaka hooks from Japan that my sister in law gave to me (I am in love with these hooks – they are beautiful) and I took up an old habit and made it a whole new habit. I started to buy crochet books again, and yarn. And yarn. And did I mention the yarn?

I have several UFO’s orbiting my room, but what knitter/crocheter doesn’t right? Crochet seems to be my go to yarn craft. It makes sense to me, and when it comes to knitting I can really only manage to go back and forth in garter stitch. Pretty tragic really. That is until this last week. The bug hit, the desire to make something with needles….and so it began. A scarf. When my chosen yard costs $7 per 50g ball, it’s wise to start small and work your way up.

In the meantime, there are bags of yarn in my closet, wedged into every available space. There are boxes of yarn under my bed. And I have a scarf that is currently in that phase that I have read is known as a black hole….the point where no matter how much you knit, it looks like you have done sweet FA!

My next challenge. Socks. On DPN’s. I hope I don’t stab myself.

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