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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I want to be Iron

Saw The Iron Lady with my homegirl, (The Old One) on Sunday and it was brill.  I had a right old cry about Dennis, but then so did TOO, so it was fine (we both agreed that loving someone that much is pretty much a dream of both of ours.  Pain, people, pain.).  I have ordered two of her books, and can't wait to dig deeper into her character.

I want this. (in case you hadn't picked it up yet)

Had dinner with one of my fav homeboy's and his fabulous other half, at Korea House which was brill.  Definitely taking my other peeps back there soon.  I love that couple.
Incidentally, I saw Melancholia the previous Sunday with Magic Postdoc, and hated it.  One lady walked out and I would have too if I knew I wouldn't have been tortured for the rest of my life wondering if it might have gotten better.  Homeboy's other half loved it.  I just don't understand.

Sweet eye-screen bro

Sunday night I finished Extras (started the series before Chrissie, not inducing of the fastest reading speed ever, but still a good story), the final in the 4 book set 'Uglies' by Scott Westerfeld.  I think it was second best, the first was brill and then the next two faded a bit, but the new characters and plot in the 4th rejuvenated the series a bit.  Its set in a future utopian society after the collapse (self destruction?) of our own modern society and explores an alternative method of controlling humanity.

In other news, we were all excited by the prospect of seeing the aurora over Dunedin last week and TCO and I traded off hours one night to keep getting up to check if it was out/visible.  It never was - but this, this is what I'm looking forward to on my future travels (which will happen, godamnit).
More here.  Beautiful.  I hear from the Married One that there are supposed to be more tonight, fingers crossed!

I had some other stuff I was dying to share with you, but Chrome crashed and deleted all my shit, so...yeah.

Oooo - my flies are dying! Whoop!

Arghh!

Really?  A valentine they'll open every day?!  Everything their heart desires?  Everything?!

I hate you Apple.  Thinking that you have man's hearts desires covered in your stupid tablet, honestly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

For godsake

Already?  I would have thought with Google being all smart and shit these days that they would know not to send me this stuff.  You know, to magically screen the mail from companies I have signed up for, for unpalatable content...

Yep.
A signed copy of 'Love Poems'?  Really?! Yay!

Its a pathetic time of year - when all the coupled up people pretend to not like it but secretly, smugly love it and all the bitter single, lonely people loudly declare how shit of a celebration it is - materialistic and bollocks when really, deep inside - its jealousy.  I'll admit it - I'm not afraid of you (well, not right now...) I am a bitter,  haggard, cat-weilding, lonely old crone

Note the hair resemblance


And I hate Feb 14th.  I wish I didn't, some years I pretend, but really... Yep.  There it is.  You know, you feel me.  And the couples are blinkered for the day, oblivious to everyone else because society is forcing them to expect something special, some engineered romance from their partner on this particular day.

Again, note the hair resemblance


I think secretly, deep inside my cold, dead, black heart, protected by a crispy layer of frosted black-matter is living a wee, scared, hopeless romantic (HR).  Its not something you can be proud of these days - strong independent woman, intent on a glittering career in academia, secretly wanting nothing more than a partner to cook and clean for, to be all gross and cherishing with.

I fail you, and I am sorry 


Equal division of household labour, babies put in day care at 6 months, late evening paper-writing, equality and progress and feminism at its best, yet the sneaky HR is sitting on my hearts left shoulder asking if my hypothetical man has had enough to eat.

I get Homer's pain


Also, since it's obviously a ranting day - I've been rocking the 80's playlist lately, all the stuff I grew up on from the parents love of it.  It is disgusting how much of it is sappy love bollocks.  Seriously.  And yet you can't help singing along.  Godamn.

And just to belabour the point, when I do find someone capable of loving me, I'm going for the whole spontaneous romance thing - I promise I will never cross over to the other side (see how the nasty HR doesn't give up on finding said man), I will never blinker myself with expectations and will instead go for a fucking drink with my single bitches and celebrate our awesomeness in epic company.

Probably with pate.

Roar! 

Totes a roar, and not a yawn

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Distractions

From my pitiful life at present (stay tuned for "Lament of the Thesis".  Just kidding, I couldn't be bothered)
Floor 1997-2000, by Do Ho Suh
Floor 1997-2000, by Do Ho Suh
An art installation by Do Ho Suh, 180k little plastic men (holding up the 1%?!  Ooooo! See what I did there?! Current event reference= 1 point).  Via.

This made me groan:
The actual paper is pretty cool, if you go a smidgen over the threshold the worms drop dead.  Tech blog picking up my shiznizzle - brill.

BBC has released some new bird footage (for Earthflight), which I loved, and then - the narration voiced over and it was my doctor.  Yum.
Speaking of documentaries and the BBC, we have all been watching Frozen Planet, and it is brilliant.  Last night David talked about this wee beast, Pyrrharctia isabella, the Wooly Bear Caterpillar, which freezes solid every winter until it has amassed enough weight during the short summers, to pupate.  It freezes solid and then comes back to life; the individual featured in FP had frozen for 14 winters.  Fourteen!!

And this video is brill, classical music roller-coaster.  Love it - the heart soars and drops and speeds up and slows along with the combined aural and visual assault.

ZKO Rollercoaster // GREAT EMOTIONS from virtual republic on Vimeo.

That will do for now.  Rock on my pretties.  (I feel like I miss you a little bit - how have you been?!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Completely lovely

I'm going to start a folder of things to do when I retire.  You know, when I have plenty of spare time.


By Vendula with an Etsy here.  Via Squiddy.

Also - squee!
Flower scarf pattern

Monday, January 23, 2012

Finished product

House was finished last Monday (Fam left that Tuesday), so look (click for close-ups):
The original paint was in a horrific condition (though this is perhaps slightly exaggerated - post scraping and sanding).
Lovely Mother is laundry-waving at you!  Soo much washing.  Dad working hard, of course.
Complete transformation.  (including anaemic garage door - roof paint was only available in 10L pails, so it got the white treatment too).
My heroes.

Weekend bright spot

Market for breakfast crepe and lunch fixin's
Ooooo yeah.

Smoked chicken, delish crusty baguette, Big Fat Cherry company cherries, beaut strawbs (overpriced, but worth it) and cheese from Evansdale.

Of course - the natural progression, dinner.
With Barkers ploughman's relish and garlic salted egg.  Can't wait to do this on the side of the road picnic-styles somewhere like, I don't know - France.  (the little things are keeping me going, people).

Waaaaaaaaa

I miss my baby doggy!  And my bed was sold/collected on Sunday so I am now sleeping on an air bed on the floor - a new air bed which went floppy overnight, was freezing cold and too short.  Queen size my ass.   Off to Mega this avo to try for an upgrade.

Not happy.

Best Banner Heading

Oh NZH, you punny thing, you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I don't want to talk about it

My house is empty and quiet and sad and empty and last night I threw a piece of meat on the floor and just stared at it - Trouble never came to get it.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!


But then Frozen Planet was on TV and I was on my third glass of red and it was the best thing I had ever watched.

Booyah.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh! The insanity!

Brain...too...over.....whelmed...

This is babycuz, isn't he just gorgeous?!  A face only family could love...
Our attempts to get the dogs sitting in a row - wee Jimmy didn't want to have a bar of it.  Bigsib's Harry on the left, my Trouble in the middle and wee Jimmy off doing his own thing.  Bigsibs fiancé's head in the first shot too, of course.
Lovely rotten floorboards (from the 1930's?!) and my handy-dandy father being all DIY'y
The trifle I made on my birthday, in my lovely Chrissie bowl - complete only with a choc hail Drosophila on top (with fresh cherry eyes).
And finally, while I have time - Dad popped off for a sneaky kip after lunch today (he has been working rather hard), and wee Jimmy decided it was a brilliant idea to copy his Dad.  Jasper then decided to get in on the napping action too.  (Oh my, isn't that a pretty quilt?!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Potential

You know the buzzy feeling when you are completely infused with potential energy?!  Like potential for a job, potential for future, excitement about what's coming and what's possible - meeting new people who you find you really, really like, open awesome job opportunities, I guess a bit of excited hope for the near future.  I'm sitting in a bubble of fizzy, bubbling excitement right now.  Maybe I'm just in a good mood...

Had Mufasa trimmed on Tuesday, just the ratty ends, and had some foils put through to keep the excellent fruit salad effect (shuddup - I love it).  In my old age I'm avoiding the whole-head-colour, since regrowth is just too much hassle to bother with - and my godamn hair grows so fast I have to get it redone every 5 weeks, and still look like a skunk for 3.  So, new colour from underneath, old colour from half way down, (poo)brown from the roots, and lets not talk about the completely white hairs growing throughout my cowlick (Bad Mother! Bad!  Its all your fault! Grey at thirty five, honestly.).   Despite the trim, its looking longer than ever.
Nothing like a bit of gratuitous photo-shopping to start your day

Its the Married One's birthday today, I'm not even sure if she's coming in to work - all thesis writing and so on.  We had our haircut at the same time and my family (called in for a cuppa) could not stop going on about how lovely her new style and colour looked. No word on my hair, of course - but The Married One - wow!  grumblegrumble

Bigsib, her fiancé and their first child (Harry the schnauzer) were here Monday-Wednesday and got the final coat done on my house - and the dogs all played the hell out of each other.  So cute together!  Eventually I will have a mo to take the photos off my camera, so hang tight till then.  So.  Cute.  We went to Paasha for dinner on Tuesday, a bit of a tradition when anyone is in town, and as usual it was gooood.  Also, I don't know what it is about the blood in our veins, but whenever we all get together, the convo's are hilarious.  God I love my family.

I also love my friend-family - TCO gave me a necklace for my birthday which I completely love, love, love, and a beautiful flower arrangement out of her garden, in an old Agee with lovely white ribbon.  That girl gets my taste.

The Old One also got me a necklace - pressies from Syd always rock - a wee robot with sparkly gem eyes.  Cute.  The birthday time of year is always excellent for the warm fuzzies.

I've been interviewing property management companies this week (busy and stressed much?!), and the whole process is very... interesting - more once I have chosen someone else to, once again, own a portion of my soul.

Don't know if I have said it enough yet, but the house looks amazing.  My Dad (and Mum- many painted houses in their lifetimes) is a demon with a paintbrush - and you can see where I inherited my pedantic attention to detail and the love of quality work done well with skill (not enough qualifiers, I'll think of some more later.  'achieved amazingly greatly with love and care, cleverness and pride...') .  My dad has skills.  (not nunchaku, unfortunately, but probably everything else).

Babycuz has also been working hard, through probably not from choice the whole time... teenagers eh?  Little bugger eats so much - I made two double batches of bikkies in three days (plus 4 cakes - different story), and owe him another in the next day or so.  Such a good kid.

The thesis writing has not been...going.  I'm trucking along with my fly expt, but the writing has been not...going, while I sort out my house - I have only this month to get it ready and rented out, and only 4 more days with my families help.  Something's gotta give, right?

When I've not been ridiculously busy organising carpet layers and builders, painters and movers, packing and cleaning, flies and fly food, lab jobs and birthday pressies for other people I've been being overcome with the most horrible heart-wrenching homesickness - pre-emptive homesickness for my house and my animals and my life as it has been for so long now, my wonderful, amazing, beautiful friends... *wee sob* Lets not talk about that right now.

However, speaking of tradies, TCO's completely lovely partner is a magnificent builder (with) and fixed the broken floorboards in my hall - there is now an island of super sturdy, even flooring, surrounded by old-house-creaky-floor-boards.  Its brilliant.  I was also having trouble finding a carpet layer to come and put the carpet back down in the hall - all the main ones are not at all interested in small jobs.  However, I got a hold of Dylan, from here, who, despite being on holiday - came out to my house yesterday avo and fixed the carpet back down for me.  He did a beautiful job and it looks better than it did before.  I am not kidding - amazing mad skills.  I hope he's still in Dunedin, and working, when I come back with bags of money and do up my house in ~10 years.

Um - nap time?!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Back

Back at work, back at my house, back in Dunedin - which is actually putting on some nice weather for me.

Which is good - because the parents and baby-cousin arrived yesterday to help paint my house.

We might just need some fine weather.

On an up note - the bigsib and her fiancé flew in on my birthday and are coming down on Monday for a visit, which should be epic.  They also brought be two packets of Jaffa Cakes from London - best bigsib-plus-one ever.  Baby-cuz had never tried one but managed to inhale half a packet for supper last night, either he has good taste - or is in that eat-everything-that-moves teenage phase (the parents picked them up in Chch on the way through).

I flew in on the 3rd and the parents drove down, arriving on the 5th - which means I had two full days of Trouble walking around the house in a sulk - missing Jimmy (Mum's schnauzer), the parents big house with lots of beds to jump all over and their huge garden, including Dad's vege plot with sneaky berries for industrious dogs to steal off the low hanging vines.  He is ridiculously happy now, though I was woken up at 2am by Jimmy scratching at my door - turns out the easiest way to get them both to shutup is to have only 1/3 of my bed to myself.  Lucky the cat is still up north or it would have been WWIII all over my duvet.

Bigsib-plus-one are bringing their schnauzer too, so its going to be dogs all over the show at mine next week.  Fun.

So - being in the lab is that much harder - knowing the family are slaving away on my weatherboards with scrapers, waterblaster and sanders...

Ok, so maybe I lie just a little bit.

I have a batch of fly food made already, and just have to finish off my dead counts before I can head back to help out.  No internet at the house 'cause I didn't want to fork out for the whole bill on my own this month (flatties all goneskis), which sucks.  Have I mentioned that yet?  It sucks.  Lab is still lovely and quiet though, most peeps are back next week.  Good stuff.

***

In other random note - found this piece about clothes fitting and advertising images, which is a lovely, though troubling read.

"and then I thought that in elementary school, there should be a class for girls where they sit you down and tell you this stuff before you waste years of your life feeling like someone put you together wrong."


***

Also, this - which made my day yesterday.
Coffee Splash by Jack Long
Amazing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tired boys

All tuckered out from running on the beach (half of which is still stuck in Trouble's coat, I swear).  (and yeah, the dogs own the furniture in this house).
Also - the 'hootie out front, the back one had its flowers forcefully shed by the last storm before Chrissie.
Completely lovely.

You can sing now

if you want.  You know - the Happy Birthday song.

hint hint

Yeah, I'm old and it feels like just another day.  Mum & Dad gave me 6 wee beautiful glass bowls to match the big one I got for Chrissie, will use them for Birthday dinner tonight.

Anyway - piccies of Trouble with his Chrissie pressie from his Nanet:
That's the baby brother, who Trouble just adores (along with every boy; I think I have a sexist dog...) and Trouble deciding he needed help to open the packet properly.  Both dogs have played the hell out of that thing this last week - its brown and dirty and its face is open, showing stuffing (I think it was a zeebra), its hard to believe its only a week old.  Good present.

The Married Ones popped in for a quick visit and a cuppa, have been camping near the parents town.  Its amazing how a little holiday can make everyone look so relaxed and happy.

Last night we had family friends over and I cooked a New Years/Birthday Eve dinner - honey soy chicken kebabs on feta and apricot pressed couscous cakes, salad and an extremely sinful chocolate tart.  We had a break between dinner and desert and played a round of Catan - I'm spreading the Settlers love.  The newbies won too - the first time I have not won this week - since I brought it home as a present (and its been played a lot).  Watched Kinky Boots after desert, a fav of all the olds - and then greeted the new year from within the shower before bed.  God, but I kind of love being old.

Oh yeah - the cat was the first to give me a pressie too - left the good bits of a sparrow on my bathroom floor at about 11:45pm.  Such a kind, sharing soul.  (though I suspect the bits I think are good, might not be as desirable as the brain, beak and entrails in his feline mind).
***
The dinner tart was basically chocolate, cream, eggs etc, cooked in a filo pastry case 
and then piled high with choc-dipped strawberries and blueberries.
The white choc was a bit tricky and its been so hot here, it took ages for everything to set.  I dipped the strawbs all carefully and got sick of the little blueberry bastards about 10 berries in - so dumped the lot in the choc, rolled them around then dumped them back out onto the baking paper.  Not nearly so pretty as carefully individually dipped berries - but a hell of a lot easier.

The tart was sinful and coma-inducing, but still I think not a fav; I doubt I'll make it again.  Kind of the so-sinful-you-want-to-puke variety.  The choc-dipped berries, however - mmmmmmmmm.
The tart in the recipe was a beautiful dense smooth slice, mine cooked out a bit like a baked cheesecake.  I think I whisked the eggs too much - too much air in the batter.  And I also only used filo because the supey has sold out of sweet short.  Crazy.

Wee bit of a side project this week - the maternal grandmother is moving down to the beach to be closer to the family and the parents have been back and forth from the farm helping to clean out the old house.  Dad found a bunch of old brass sheep ear tags in amongst the detritus in the shed - I polished up a bunch and shall get them fitted on some sweet silver chains - one for every member of the family still alive.  Nans moving off the farm is going to be a bit heart wrenching, but its past due.
Imagine - a farm in a time before plastic ear tags.

Also feel compelled to mention - polishing up old brass is one of the most rewarding elbow-grease-using activities ever (OCD soother?!).  I kind of love it.  Dad bent them shut after a first polish and then gently ground off any sharp corners (he has a tool for everything, I am not kidding).  The parents have fitted outdoor power jacks on the new deck, so we both sat at the table with a bit of Whitney blasting through the sweet, sweet speaker system.  Good times.  (shall I confess to having been procrastinating?  is it obvious?!  Was supposed to spend the whole day thesis writing, but spent a good three hours polishing brass).

And that is all.  Venture forth into a new year with fortitude, my loves.

12 Magic's of Chrissie: 12

Christmas Breakfast.  (yes, it has taken me this long to get the photos off my camera)
and the sneaky pre-steal attempt.  Lots of smacked hands.
We do a bit of a champagne breaky: croissants baked with brie and bacon (and avocado if it floats your boat - not a fan), bubbles and big bowls of berries with yoghurt.

Delish.