Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Things we say....Part 28

D: This could be the onset of superpowers!
L: Or dementia.
D: I'm trying to be optimistic here!
L: Yeah, but I'm saying there are options.

So much for the onset of superpowers, sorry D.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Things We Say....part 27

A: Any more requests from the angry lesbian?

A Second Life joke...let's not dwell on the details.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oh, really.

I have this variant of the 'I'm not a feminist but...' comment. It goes, 'I love Penny Arcade, but...' and it's because of strips like this. Actually, it could be extended to 'I'm a geek, but...', 'cause the standard geek reaction to criticism like this is to tell feminist geeks to get over themselves, and basically stop getting the icky girl stuff on other people's fandom.

Heads up, dudes - feminist geeks call you out on this shit for one very simple reason: not funny. Rape is not funny. Racism is not funny. Slavery is not funny. It is not funny, for several well-fucking-recognised psychological reasons to joke about things which cause actual harm to actual people, even if your platform is not real. Because one of those things that we've found out about the intersection of a culture of violence and humour is that it has very real consequences.

If your answer to this is '...but, that's not what people mean when...', then go learn some shit about psychological conditioning.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Food, glorious food

So. How d'you feel about cauliflower? It's very possible that if your answer is 'ew,' you're doing it wrong.

On the other hand, p'raps you love the stuff and want to convert someone. Either way, roasting is your friend - that goes for broccoli, to. In fact, there are plenty of veggies that benefit from this treatment, so experiment! It brings out a depth of flavour that can be pretty surprising.

Anyway. What you want to do here is roast your (dry!) veggies at a high temperature, so they caramelise (omnomnom). I'm a bit laissez-faire when it comes to washing veggies (shhhh), but if you do wash 'em, either leave them to air-dry for a good long while, or obliterate that surface moisture with extreme prejudice. You don't want anything going on here that'll make the veggies squishy.

Spray a roasting sheet with oil & put it in a hot oven (about 220 C) 'til the oil's nice & hot. You want it to sizzle when the veggies hit.
Carve your cauli/broccoli into florets - don't go too small. If you're using cauliflower, halve the bigguns. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper - or any seasoning that takes your fancy- (get everything coated), then add some sliced garlic. Take out your hot baking sheet, chuck on the veggies (if you've got oil pooled from preparing them, don't add it) and return to the oven for 20 minutes or so. Don't panic when you start getting crispy brown bits - they're the best part.

This on its own makes a pretty awesome snack, but I'm also a fan of prepping soup veggies like this. It adds a nice depth to the broth, and when you hit a mouthful of veg, it's blissful. If you want to use it as a meal component, jazz it up a little more - drizzle a little more oil over the top, chuck in some toasted nuts (pine nuts or slivered almonds work really well), and some lemon juice. I'm considering going a bit crazy next time I do this and tossing a few currants in.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How DO you walk in stilettos?

Those of you who follow my twitter feed will know that  few months ago I bought a pair of stiletto boots. They're the only pair of stilettos I have ever owned; I'm very comfortable in my normal boots, which have maybe 3-4inch wide heel. Needless to say a 5inch stiletto heel was something I was not used to. I knew that it was going to take a bit of exercise and practice, I also figured out early on that if I didn't do this right I was going to do it very very wrong, and, with my ankles, that would be a really bad idea.

I sprained my left ankle quite badly when I was 11 and despite the ballet and the Tai Chi, it's always been a bit of a weak ankle - not helped by the fact that I've sprained the other ankle a few times as well. I didn't want to make matters worse, and I'd heard somewhere - or maybe it was common sense - that you could seriously damage yourself walking in stilettos, and in heels in general. I also remembered that it took me a long time to get used to walking in my brown boots, which had two extra inches in the heel compared to my now-retired black ones. 

In light of that, I dove into Google with the very simple search stream of 'how to walk in stilettos'. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not the only one curious about how not to get shin splinters and permanent damage to my feet. I was also pleased - though  not quite in the same way - to discover that I hadn't been wrong. You can do some serious damage to your feet without even knowing it! 

Sure, I mean, heels make a woman's legs look amazing - not to mention the added height advantage if you're short like me! - but the higher the heel gets the more it affects your posture and the pressure applied to your skeletal and muscular structure... and that's ignoring the fact that you're not exactly stable on 5+ inch narrow heels, one step wrong and you run the risk of breaking an ankle and falling flat on your face, the total opposite of the point of wearing the shoes in the first place. Check this out for more information, though if you're really interested just hop into Google and do some of your own research, there's a lot of it out there and it's not hard to pick out the bogus sites from the good ones.

All that aside, because we all know that you're going to opt to wear the heels anyways - well, most of us anyways, I know there are some very sensible people out there who know better - how do you walk in stilettos?  (Disclaimer: I'm no expert! This is just me sharing my Google findings with you!)


  1. Wear a shoe that fits. Some salespeople will advise you to choose a half or full size larger when it comes to stilettos, this is usually so you have the option of wearing an additional non-slip sole inside the shoe for more support and comfort.
  2. Exercise your legs and ankles, espeically if you're like me and have weak ankles. The stronger your leg muscles, the more confident and comfortable you'll be. Before you put your shoes on, do some quick flex and point exercises with your feet and calves, get the circulation going and warm your feet up before subjecting them to the pressure of the stilettos.
  3. Before you try walking, practice standing. That may sound silly, but do it! If you can't stand comfortably - without wobbling - you're going to fall on your face whenever you stop walking.

  4. When you start practicing how to walk start out with a non-slipper surface, avoid tiles to start with as they're ridiculous slippery. Practice slowly, take plenty of breaks. Don't try to stand, walk, and wear those shoes for more than a few hours a day until you feel your feet don't hurt and you're totally at ease in them. SLOW, not fast, is the best way to go here. Once you get more comfortable, try different surfaces, like hardwood (when walking on wood, check whether or not you're leaving marks!).Walk with your back straight and walk toe-to-heel instead of putting your heel down first, put your toes down first. Think of it like aiming your toes straight in front of you. It'll be weird at first, but you'll get used to it and you'll find a balance and realize that you're quite comfortable.

The most important thing above all: IF YOUR FEET START TO HURT. STOP! Don't push, take it slow. I cannot stress this enough, if you try to do it all at once you could seriously and irreparably damage your feet and your legs, not to mention your spine, and you really don't want that.

Check out this video, also, I've put some links in at the bottom that you might want to consult if you find this at all interesting - or worrying.

Safe walking & ClearSkies~V

Further Reading

How to walk in Stilettos 
Walking in Stilettos
Advantages and Disadvantages of Wearing Heels
Wearing High Heels - Effects on the Body

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blah blah blabbity blah...

So. (Already) this week I have: systematically failed several goals; missed the O-week info session for the course that starts next week; realised how abysmal my budgeting really is, and accidentally gone cold-turkey from my happy pills.

(Insert 2 dizzy, nauseous, unbalanced days here.) That's right, I need to learn to fill my script BEFORE I run out of 'em. No shit, sherlock... (insert day of sleeping through re-adjustment here).

On the other hand, I've (finally) made some serious progress on the Knitting Olympics project, and cooked some pretty tasty stuff. We won't mention the raids on the mango/macadamia icecreams.

Anyway, it's not really news that we suck at that commitment thing (blog? What blog?), but anyway. Here are some things that've managed to entertain me.

EchoBazaar: FailBetter Games have outdone themselves, although it's still under development (still awesome to play, though). Escape from New Newgate! Befriend Urchins! A little bit Neverwhere and a lot awesome.

Anagrams are awesome. A certain someone is a Ninja Veld Wok.
Also, apparently Jesus is offended by rectangles. Go figure.