Monday, November 30, 2009

Things we say, part 12

(V was wearing her hair in two plaits, ready for bed.)

L - Do you think if I yanked on them hard, your head would split open?

V - What a thought!

L - *sulk* I was just curious...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things we say, Part 11

A trip into the new and 'improved' (thank you SO much Arena net for making it IMPOSSIBLE) Underworld (in Guild War, obviously a trip to the real underworld would prove tricky in all manner of degrees), lead us to trying all manner if 'insane' and otherwise random ideas. At the third entry, this little skit emerged:

S: Okay this one involves a blind man shouting at you.
D: I was gonna say 'no, not really'.
S: *sigh* I should've expected that.

Clear Skies~V

Things we say, Part 10

Just because the pun deserved the airing; and because S claims that it was completely unintentional.

S: ...before they nerf Obsidian Flesh to the stone age.

Also, if you've got no idea what this is about, that's okay, it's abotu Guild Wars. For those of you who don't know who 'S' is, he's what I suppose you could call the Guild Strategist. >.>

Clear Skies~V

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things we say, Part 9

Today's prize winning line goes to L's lil sister (LS). She gets this not only because she won the amazing lineness, but because she got a First for her thesis, which is made of awesome to the degree of awesometh.

LS: I love you like a ninja (or maybe a crane).

Clear Skies~V

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Noms. We like noms.

In keeping with the whole Thanksgiving thing, I thought I'd talk about food for a bit. Well, specifically dinner. The dinner we'll be eating tonight.

I'm a pretty instinctual cook; when I was little I followed recipes, but had no compunction about discretionary adding of things I liked, or preferentially altering the proportions of some ingredients. So our rock cakes always had more currants than normal, and our anzac biscuits were a little more sticky-soft than crunchy. I've been using the same basic cake recipe, with various additions, since I first cooked it from the Common Sense Cookery Book, which my Auntie Jan gave Mum as a wedding present (I think). The pages of that book (particularly pikelets, anzac biccies, cake...) wound up stained with the evidence of my messiness.

So I cook with very little regard for anything but aiming at something tasty, especially when it comes to everyday dinners. It's always been a bit of a mystery to me when people say they can't cook, 'cause it's been such a normal part of my life for so long. Growing up we always cooked from scratch, because it's cheaper, and I did a lot of the family cooking, which meant that I not only learnt to cook, but also to shop for groceries.

When I left home for university, I discovered how weird that actually was. Most of my peers had no real idea of what they would eat over the course of a week, or how to cook filling meals, let alone relatively healthy ones.

Anyways, seeing as most people seem to have missed out on the organic process of learning to cook that I was lucky enough to have had, I thought I'd post some of the stuff I cook for our household. I'm not a spectacular cook, but I turn out some pretty tasty everyday food on a regular basis, without spending all that much money, even though we do our shopping at a normal supermarket. Be warned, though, that I very rarely pay attention to such niceties as measurements.

So: dinner tonight is a nameless variation on chicken and veggies.

Ingredients: *as closely as I can remember*

about 1.5kg of skinless chicken (thigh fillets, $12), 4 potatoes, 2 tins of tomatoes, 3 carrots, 1 mediumish sweet potato, 2 smallish onions, powdered chicken stock, various herbs.

I roughly chopped the veggies & put them in a deep baking dish (an oven-proof casserole dish would work just as well), then chopped the thighs into chunks (not too small). I then added the stock powder, basil, thyme, rosemary (dried) and lots of garlic, and smooshed it all around a bit, til everything had a good coating of herbs. It didn't look like quite enough, so I dumped some more herbs on and added the tomato, mixed it through a little, then added water so the dish was about 3/4 full. It went into the oven covered with foil, at 200 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. The foil then came off, the temperature came down to 180 degrees, and it was left to finish cooking. (The chicken will be cooked at the 45 min mark, even if it's partially frozen to start with, as mine was, but the veggies will still be pretty hard, especially if you prefer them in larger chunks. You can cut them smaller to speed up the cooking time, especially if you're using waxy potatoes, which hold together more in liquid)

You could reduce the water content to end up with a thicker, more sauce-like concoction, but I like the liquid to be thin. If there's wine in the house, I tend to put some in, red or white doesn't really matter. If there isn't, I'll add a little verjuice, or lemon/lime juice, or even a little apple cider vinegar to add depth to the flavour. I also taste test, because the way I cook is very much in the 'add to taste' line - I don't use much salt or pepper to start with, taste part way through, and add to finish the dish. When you guesstimate about stuff, it's the easiest way to make sure you end up with something palatable.

I also tend to leave a lot of room for people to season the food while they eat - I've never used salt much, so my taste for it is pretty low, and I often find that people want to add salt to the finished product (which I don't mind at all, since it means everyone's tastes are catered to).

All together, this costs no more than $20, maybe a little more if you're using wine, etc. You can use whatever cut of meat is cheapest, and it'd cost less if you do your veggie shopping at a farmer's market, instead of paying supermarket prices for things. In our 3-person household, it leaves enough leftovers for plenty of lunches. If you wanted to stretch it a little further, it goes well with rice, and you can also add chickpeas, etc. It's also a theme that's very open to variation: I've made this with pork, and frequently substitute other vegetables, especially parsnip and pumpkin.

One of the most awesome aspects of cooking like this is how easy it is. Chop stuff up, stick it in the oven, set the timer, walk away. Cleanup is pretty much a knife, chopping board, baking dish, crockery, and whatever mess I made on the benches throwing it together - so it's low-cost in every way.

News worth reading? Wait, what?

BWAHAHAHAHA. Who'd have thought the Canberra Times could ever come up with an article worth the reading?

Also, I should add that I haven't slept yet, so it might be funnier now than it will be when I'm actually awake.

Clear Skies~V

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Before I forget and someone kills me for it...

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans who read or might read this!

Clear Skies~V&L

Combatting Boredom with Procastination

Okay so this is not what I should be doing. In fact, I should not be on the Internet at all, or singing along to Queen or Aerosmith, or looking anywhere other than the Word document that is meant to be the current focal point of my life. After all the Talking Teacher already seems to have taken it personally that I haven't rocked up to any of his classes - what makes him so special anyways? The Awesome Teachers haven't taken it personally that I haven't rocked up to either of their classes for the last couple of weeksl; doesn't mean I haven't been following the stuff via the online notes or, when being completely lost, asking for help - so doing his assignments may or may not be a waste of time. Still, if I can finish them all by tomorrow or, at the end of all things, by Friday, and turn them in one big wallop he might be appeased and not fail me outright like he says he might. Not to propogate the ranting but it's not like I needed to be in his class every time in order to understand what it is he's teaching. It's not that hard, people! Information systems have to adapt and change depending on the contextual technological evolution as well as the changing demands of the people who use it. What's the big fuss? Do I really need to have been there for all 2 hours every week for the past 15 weeks in order to get that? Um...lemme think about that? Probably not. That is not to say that I disliked the class; quite to the contrary, the teaching methods were very interesting (no, not being sarcasm) and I have the utmost respect for the Talking Teacher. Mostly. Let's just say I'm a little disappointed that he thinks I dislike coming to class.

Aaaanyways, the point of this entry was not to bitch. It was to get my head around what I'm meant to be writing down. Consider it a means of communicating the concepts to myself and to you at the same time. Multitasking has always been a skill I think should be encouraged in all walks of life...okay, so maybe that's a load of BS, but I'm sure it might be true in some circles, I'll get back to you about which ones. Give me a break, I've had very little proper sleep over the past week because of all of this, I'm allowed to be a little bit silly.

The point of this entry is that boring assignments automatically switch on my 'how to procrastinate today' gear. It says a lot that I've managed to sleep away most of today (on accounts of the whole lack of sleep thing for the past couple of weeks, not because I did it deliberately). I was going to go in today and finish my Cataloguing assignments, but those are going to have to wait until tomorrow. Tonight's aim is to finish TT's assignments, as many as I can anyways. You can see my predicament. I should be listening to William Joseph's piano instead of the random playlist I just spent the last half hour fixing. I should be reading the material provided instead of blogging. I should have finished all of this yesterday instead of giving in and sleeping. I should be doing a lot of things other than what I'm doing right now, but being held hostage to those things that I should be doing? Not entirely my style. The effort bug will kick in soon, and then we'll get work done. I always did say I got my best work done after 11pm anyways. That gives me what? Two hours to warm up?

Clear Skies~V

Saturday, November 21, 2009

As an aside...

Just to chime in... since V decided to share her feelings about all that Twilight crap: this is pretty much the best description I've seen of it...

stupid friggin sparkly vampires... shitty cinematography... crappy acting... didn't bother to hide the wires... /mumblerant

Friday, November 20, 2009

Magma is a funny word.

So, lately all my post titles have been pinched from Looking for Group comics. Ah well, there's nothing original on the internets anyway, right?

I was just thinking that actually, hectopascal is a funny word. I always thought it was spelled hecterpascal, thanks to the delivery of the weatherman throughout my childhood, Mike Pook. (We always called him Pookie. The nightly weather was a somewhat onesided conversation at our place. Aaaand this haphazard train of thought has reminded me of the insane way my sister used to giggle whenever someone said 'Hong Kong', and got the old theme music from The Bill stuck in my head.)

Trying to distract myself from the ridiculous heat (I can't help but sit here and whimper at the fact that it's only going to get hotter for the next couple of months), I have, of course, been blogsurfing. Strangely, this is a form of procrastination I've only (relatively) recently embraced. At times it's a hugely counterproductive activity, since I have a tendency to get cranky when I'm thinking about stuff and things from a feminist perspective. At this point it's probably necessary to state that I am, in fact, explicitly outing myself as a feminist. Probably kindof obvious too, but what the hell.

So. For the past few months I've been wending my way through various blogs, grateful for these intelligent, articulate women writing stuff that makes me think, but intensely frustrated by the very stuff it makes me think about. A recent chemical change (hello, happy pills!) has me on a more even keel, and I think I've finally got the hang of thinking philosophically rather than angrily about male privilege, patriarchy, 'culture', all that jazz. V's probably sobbing with relief, since on of the real outcomes of this particular epiphany is a little less ear-bashing from me.


Ahem. Not sure what the actual point is here, but I reckon I might get to it eventually. I started wandering through feminist blogs (as a spectator; I don't tend to comment) because of this post. Some of them are on our blogroll; if you're at all interested in reading actual content from actual people who are actual feminists, I'd suggest dipping a toe in. I don't mean feminism in the sense that a lot of people seem to think about feminism; there's no bitter man-hating going on. It's not about teh evil menz so much as it's about paradigms, and paying attention, thinking critically about the ways people relate to each other and what that means.

A couple of months ago I was incredibly angry that no-one (apart from a bunch of people with blogs) seems to credit this as a conversation that desperately needs to be happening. John Howard might believe that we're in the 'post-feminist' stage of the 'debate', but I like to think that anyone with even a little bit of a brain can see that it's not a 'debate' when the wage gap is still ridiculous, and it's not a 'debate' when the choices women face in terms of career and family are so structurally unfair. It's not a debate when the much-needed American healthcare reform turns into an exercise in neglecting several forms of basic healthcare for women, or when the 'principles' of American conservatives prevent any federal US funding from going towards aid programs which provide abortions.

It's weird, to be something other than angry about all this. In a way, I am angry - I'm angry every time I hear someone say something that I know needs to be challenged - angry at them, and angry with myself for failing to challenge it, as I know I often do. Angry that on those occasions when I do manage to make that challenge, I fail to adequately articulate why these things are important, to me personally and to society as a whole.

So, maybe I am angry, but at least it feels like good angry. I spend a good chunk of each day hoping for updates, reading intelligent, articulate people write about important things, trivial things, amusing things, interesting things. I've learned a bunch of things about random stuff, from pedagogical techniques (I find myself addicted to academic blogs, even though I'm no longer studying; it's making me rethink my approach to being a student, even if it is a bit late...) to fat acceptance, and more topics in between than I ever thought I'd spend hours reading about.

I think maybe I lied before. I'm not sure I am getting to a point; I think I'm probably just crapping on about how awesome the internet can be. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with this random little epiphany, if I do anything; I guess I'll just leave this as a thankyou to all the people I've got blog-crushes on, who routinely make my intellectual life richer thanks to what they share.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


For those of you who were wondering... this is still how I feel about Twilight. I make only small apologies.

Clear Skies~V

Random Pretty...! Nature moves in mysterious ways.

Okay this one just amused me...that's the wall outside my bedroom, the sun was coming in through the window and it made an exclamation mark. Reckon nature's trying to communicate?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do whatever the elf tells you to. I'm going fishing.

V and I were just talking about various fears (the conversation started out with me wondering how people wind up being scared of spiders, etc. Apparently a vivid documentary on black widow spiders was the culprit for her) and then meandered, as we tend to do, far from the original topic and into a conversation about seeing the Scream movie franchise, oh so many years ago. (We're at that age where it feels really weird to refer to something being a decade ago.)

Anyway, as it turns out, we both saw Scream at a highschool slumber party. Little V found it scary, whereas apparently you'd need carbon dating to figure out what the age of my personality is, as even in 1998 I was more amused than anything else, and vaguely bored. My favourite part is (still) the bit where the blonde girl tries to escape through the cat flap in the roller door, and oh my. Wasn't that a mistake. Actually, my favourite part was creeping out my friends by making strange noises in the dark when they were trying to sleep afterwards (leading to the exclamation, 'Lambs are frolicking! Lambs are frolicking!'), but the crushed-in-a-garage-door comes a close second.

So. What're your favourite terrible movies? I have to admit that I quite enjoy movies that're so bad they're good, or at least unintentionally wet-your-pants funny. The Princess Bride tops my list, for many reasons - I know the Impressive Clergyman's 'wuv... twue wuv...' speech very well. Shoot 'em Up, Troy, Army of Darkness (Hail to the king, baby....), and Robin Hood, Prince of Theives all rate a mention.

The Transformers movies... well, that's a completely different kind of bad. 'The teenage male equivalent of snorting cocaine off a hooker's ass' is the best description I've come across so far...

Things we say, part 8

L: Or else?

V: Or else there will be blooood!

L: Does that mean we get Daniel Day-Lewis?

V: ...hmmm...

L: Uh-huh.

Does this amuse anyone else?

Guild Wars is rated T and has the following warnings...

ESRB Rating

Do you reckon by 'suggestive themes' they're referring to the relationships between Koss and Melonni, Mhenlo and Cynn (and Cynn's variously amusing comments like "I hope you brought your healing hands")? Or perhaps they're referring to the fact that female elementalists wear next to nothing?

Use of Alcohol = your screen goes drunk and you get pretty colors. Pretty straight forward. I'll pay that.

Violence. Um. Yeah?
L just walked in and told me she'd finished vanquishing
Sacnoth Valley.
Vanquishing = killing every living thing in a select region = um...violence?

Clear Skies~V

Clip clop, I'm a horse!

Okay so maybe I exaggerated a little, no one got hurt did they?

Every now and then I find myself wondering about the very basic question; a question which I imagine many people - prominent and otherwise - have asked themselves over the course of their lives: why do we put up with fashion?

Let me sketch you the basics of my own non-existent fashion trends: I wear what I think looks good and what feels right, thus, I avoid white shirts, stripes that go horizontal, and puffy skirts that make me look like a dumpling on legs. Hahah. Yes, well, meh. I have a thing for bags, shoulder bags, backpacks, handbags, leather or canvas, I just love bags. And ankle boots, I love them too, and I don't really care if I make a racket when I'm walking down a hallway at our educational institution, because my boots do miracles for my posture and they make me just that little bit taller, which is great for someone who is 5' nothing.

However, can someone please tell me if it's just me and I've fallen behind so massively on the 'in' thing, or whether or not these pictures really are the fashion horrors that I think they are?

Okay, is this a boot, a shoe, a sandal, or a hammer?

Shiny? Pink? Beige? I mean honestly...

I'm not even going to try and say something about these.

Clear Skies~V

Random Pretty

Darling Harbour, Sydney (while moving the camera)

Clear Skies~V

How to drink coffee in the heat...

It's easy really, you make it, you stuff a glass full of vanilla ice cream, you pour coffee in. It gets frothy, you drink it...nom nom nom nom nom nom...

Okay so I might be a little bit high on caffeine and sugar now, and company. I'm sure you'll all forgive me, I'm attempting - stress on attempting - to write an essay here. That's not going as well as it should, I think I've lost my capacity to write essays, or it might just be this week. It's for the Talking Teacher (TT), and I hope he'll forgive me for it being late. I'm of a mind to finish all his assignments today, and with the help of my new caffeine and ice cream I'll be able to do that. (WoOt! Breeze!) The essay deals with the impact of information communication technology (mouthful? Just say ICT) on library systems. Now, lemme explain, I love essays, I like writing them, I even enjoy reading them, I prefer writing essays to writing reports - I don't do well with subheadings, see? - but for some reason the topic has jaded me, I think we've fallen out of love, if we were even in love - *sigh* it's so hard to tell these days! I mean, the topic hasn't even called back yet, and it's been like two weeks! What's up with that?

Luckily for me, and I mean luckily, Awesome Teacher 1 & 2 are being forgiving and are letting me get away with murder. My personal aim is to get things done by the end of next week. With a little help from caffeine and a shut door, good music, I will succeed!

Anyways, before I bore you all to death with school talk I've made a list of 'Highs'...because I can...and because it'll make me think clearly enough to actually write these essays.

  • Caffeine High --> leads to V's hypernessity level 1, and (if reached without the appropriate consumption of water) massive migraineness (*goes to get another bottle of water*)
  • Sugar High --> leads to V's hypernessity level 3, and in my very personal opinion the worse kind of hangover (worse than an alcohol one!!!), especially when reached in combination with the other two Highs.
  • Company High --> leads to various levels of V's hypernessity, ranging between 2-10. Nothing like a Company High, also known as a giggle fest. I love Company Highs, they're the kind of highs you get when you're spending time with someone(s) you get along with so well you can't help but seriously enjoy yourself well into the AM. The only kind of residue this leaves is a sleepy day the following day.
...I'm not going to touch the Drug High, on accounts that I don't endorse it, never have, and don't need it to have a great time or get my work done. ^^

Back to the grindstone, will probably write again later...^^

Clear Skies~V

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


HTML is fun right? Actually it is, which is why I had a test this week on it, and why I spent all of my Tuesday night and Wednesday last week working on that project. To be completely honest, I overdid it, once I'd worked out how to get framesets into the code and how to make it function in congruence (sp?) with the CSS it was far too much fun to NOT use it, even though it wasn't a requisite for the grade. Oh well, what're you gonna do? Turn a project into something fun and hopefully usable or just do what's required and learn only the basics? I know, I know, you don't need to know how to do framesets to figure out what might be wrong with the basic HTML of a page...but still >.>

I know there was a greater purpose to this entry, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Something about space monkeys I'm sure, or maybe it was unicorns. No...don't think it was either of those. Granted I don't think singing along with ACDC's Back in Black is helping any. Good song. Also doesn't help when the playlist switches over into Renegade by Styx just as I finish typing that. So, my playlist is a little interesting, there's a bit of ACDC, Styx, Bad Company, the Eagles, Phoenix Effect, Poets of the Fall, and, of all things, Joan Baez. I guess I had to throw in someone with a female voice to offset the overdose of maleness. It's an interesting combination to say the least, and kind of amusing, especially since the Eagles' music varies so greatly, depending on the time in which it was written. Not the style necessarily, but the expressiveness.

Now...what was the point of this entry again? You know what, stuff it, I don't remember. I know there was a greater purpose but it's completely flown my mind. Probably wasn't anything important, can't think of why I'd want to rant against whaling, or environmental degredation, or anything like that, I mean, those aren't important topics are they? Like AIDs in Africa, or AIDs around the world, that's not important either, not compared to the capitalist to spend money and create movies like Transformers (hilarious to watch, but c'mon how much money was poured into that that might've been spent somewhere else?). Just think about what the amount of money poured into the movie business could do if it was applied to say, medicine in 3rd world countries? Or applied to the further research for a cure for AIDs? Protecting the world's natural resources? Funding research into the generation of renewable, clean, and safe fuels? It's about responsible spending on a political and international and insert-sphere-here scale.

So no, no point to this post whatsoever. Bite me.

Clear Skies~V

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Been a while... hello Blog! Did you miss us?

So, HI. We didn't die if that's what some of you were wondering. We didn't go to the Moon either, though L was very insistent that we try to build a space shuttle and make an attempt. Somehow, however, we overshot our trajectory - cos I suck at Maths - and we ended up on Saturn instead. Now Saturn, don't get me wrong, it's a lovely planet, if you like gas, and rings, it sure has a lot of those. Not so much with the actual substance thing, so we spent a week or so floating around in nothing but whatever Saturn is made up of. Anyways, DULL.

So we went to Vegas instead. Lost lots of money and -

Yeah okay, no one's buying that are they?

Soooo, no. Things have been heating up in Canberra - get your minds out of the gutter - I meant that it's getting closer to summer, so the temperatures are climbing up and up and up, aiming at incinerating us with the blasting heat of the sunshine and the searing temperatures of the so-called breeze. You know how everywhere else, a breeze is a delightfully cool thing that is meant to giggle or chortle or do whatever it is that breezes are described to do - often making them very similar to brooks and streams - in Australian summer breezes are like oven-fan-powered gusts of heat that kick up dust and dry you out faster than you can start coughing.

And joy of joys we're heading that way. Gods I wish we'd stayed on Saturn. >.> Space and its subzero temperatures is looking preeeetty appealing right about now. *sighs* If only! Woe woe woe! Alack the day that summer ever - yeah okay, anyone else noticed that I'm a little um...crazier than usual? Oh look birds! No, wait that's a car. It's night time, V, the birds are all ASLEEP.

Yes. I'm insane. And?

Clear Skies~V