Monday, November 30, 2009

Cue the superhero music please


I cannot believe I actually pulled it off. Today I wrote over 8,000 words despite the fact that I had a full day at work and spent my lunch break rushing to and from the city to submit a piece for the Anthology. Delia is editing and I ran into her in the hallway. She said she had hoped I would be submitting something. I know it's silly, but that does kind of make me feel happy. I mean they're published writers who see hundreds of students every year, but they still take a personal interest in little old me. It's a boost I need at the moment since I'm beginning to suspect USyd does not want me despite my 3.3GPA and recommendations.

But yes, NaNoWriMo. It is a mess. The pacing is all over the place, especially now that I rushed it all in near the end. The ending is skeletal at best. But it's there. And that, after all, is the point of NaNoWriMo. It's not about quality, consistency, or anything like that, it's just about getting words down on paper and a story out of your brain and into the real world. I did that, all 50 906 words of it. So I'm quite proud of myself.

I was close to giving up quite a few times. The first week was by far the hardest for me, just trying to find the enthusiasm to start and watching everyone else's word counts rocket ahead. That's definitely not a mistake I'll be making again next year, staying far away from other people's counts. And yes, I'm fairly sure I'll be doing it again next year. It was also a bit of a struggle to get through words when my brain just felt so fried in a sort of uni/thesis induced hangover of sorts. Last week I didn't think there was any possible way I'd be able to finish cause Ii was just so far behind the recommended daily count, but Abbi insisted and so with a little faith from my friends, I pressed on. Yes, I left it to the last minute (finishing 20 minutes before midnight) but hey, that's how I do everything.

So I managed to achieve to goals for November - NaNoWriMo and a piece for the Anthology. It's not an entirely new piece, it's true, but I did spruce up one of my old ideas that I was rather fond of. Just to say I tried. It's all in the attempting. I don't want to look back one day, like I do with most things, and wish I'd just at least tried to particiapte in something. So this year I made an effort.

Now it's on to the next writing project, the reel challenge. Which is due in two weeks. Joy.

Meanwhile, I am flat broke and oh so much to do. Still have to pay my car registration, Oreo is going to the Vet tomorrow, petrol, movies, getting hair done next week, It's times like these that I want a full time job because I am looking forward to having my two week Christmas holiday but not so much going two weeks without pay. Sigh.

Work, while on the topic, was actually pretty hectic today. I ended up having to do end of month since the practice manager couldn't make it in. That's always fun *cough* The only thing that even vaguely amused me was all our ex-pat British patients wandering in and complaining about the "London weather." It was rather wet and miserable today, you can just see them all thinking they did not move halfway across the world to put up with this crap in summer. Made me smile at any rate.

Music: Peacemaker - Green Day
Mood: Thirsty

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I will bend the light pretend that it somehow lingered on

Aaaaah. Birthday weekend was absolutely lovely. Lovely! That can be said in an Eliza Doolittle voice if you so wish.

My dad insisted we go out to dinner last night as a family, so off we went to some place he saw in the paper and decided we needed to try. It was quite unique, once we eventually got there. Parking was a nightmare and I was rather less than enthused when I realized I had to walk 6 blocks in stilettos. These shoes were not made for walking over uneven terrain. It was not as bad as I expected, shockingly enough I think my feet are getting used to such abuse. But anyway. It was a Brazilian BBQ place that is sort of like an all you can eat buffet except they constantly walk around with plates of food that they bestow upon you when they pass your table. I must admit I was more interested in their jugs of Sangria, the solution of all of life's problems. I possibly drank a little too much, at my father's encouragement which makes him a terrible influence. Just for the record.

This morning I went into the city to drop some things off at uni and mum tagged along. We stopped at some factory outlets on the way back, which led to too much walking but I did acquire a frozen cocktail mix that comes with the instructions "Add bottle of dark rum and freeze." Perfect for the next 49 degree day with the girls, me thinks. Speaking of, my gorgeous friends all came over late afternoon, Lizzie first, followed by Roze, Em and boyfriend. There were board games, a lot of loud talking and teasing, quoting of Troy, Glee watching, Thai food, cake, lollies of all description, and it all ended in Uno. Yes, we are that hardcore. It was epic amounts of fun, so much thanks to the girls for talking me into doing something.

Roze also gave me a brilliant birthday card, which she always does, but it bears mentioning. Oh and also got my laptop bag! Heeeeeee. Em got me a gorgeous Paris themed suitcase-container-thing (technical term) which I've been coveting. My room is slowly morphing into a France theme, unsure when exactly this happened.

All the shenanigans means I have not worked on NaNo much, which leaves me with about 4 chapters to do tomorrow if I wish to break 50K. To the writing mobile!

Music: Clarity - John Mayer
Mood: Pleased

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Om nom nom

From Donna, with love.
[[Watch it, spaceman!]]

I can haz cake

Remember that post I did the other day on how I have moved into geekdom? My birthday continues to support the trend. I've hardly received a birthday message that did not involve some reference to the Doctor or something related. My parents, having already given me my present months ago as it is hard to store a 2m canvas, still got me a little something today...a robot shaped flash drive. Sooooo cute! So, you see, all my presents continued to be in some way fandom or tech related. Thus again we can only conclude that a geek. Fantastic.

I sadly had to go to work this morning, blah. We did a batch of H1N1 vaccinations so we were rather busy. I have next weekend off thankfully. I'm still hoping to go away. Currently though, I'm sitting at home, pontificating over the fact that I should really be writing, and awaiting the arrival of cake. Hmmmm cake. Going out to dinner tonight, there may be shopping tomorrow, and the weekend is to be capped off with a night in, shenanigans to no doubt ensue. Considering how little enthusiasm I had for my birthday, I must say I'm rather enjoying it. It's calm and relaxed, something I haven't had much of this year. Sigh. Twenty two. All the milestones are behind me for the forseeable future. To think last year on this very day I was wandering around London with exceedingly wet jeans (I know, stupid tourist), and met Abbi for the first time in RL. It feels like forever ago.

Now, the random 'Risk Assessment' extract for today:

'Gin would be lovely,' said Jack firmly.
Mandy giggled. 'Oh no, my love,' she said. 'We've got tea or instant. And I can probably find you a digestive.'
Jack swung around to look at her, his smile whacked up to 11. 'This instant coffee? Would it be a very cheap brand?'
Caught out, Mandy flushed slightly. 'Oh, well, more of a discount really. Special offer. It's not branded, see, and quite powdery, but Ruth, she swears it's - '
Jack's smile peaked. 'Wonderful. I would love a cup of your unbranded instant coffee!' He winked, and turned back to Rhys, just in time for Rhys to catch what looked like a smirk of childish rebellion on Jack's face.

So passive aggressive, it's brilliant. Another classic moment brought to us by the mind of James Goss. There are oh, so many.

Music: Uprising - Muse
Mood: Content

Friday, November 27, 2009

If you want flowers you can buy a bouquet

Today I was alerted to the fact that it's been a decade since The Matrix was first released. It really doesn't feel that long. Ah, The Matrix, remember when it was the height of cool and people ran around in long black coats and shades, when we realised that Keanu really did his best playing someone not quite human, and that there was no situation that couldn't be enhanced with a "Missster Anderson." Then there's the conspiracy theories, whispers of "If this really was the matrix..." Ah 1999, you were good to us.

In honour of this, I present lego Matrix, not to be confused with lego Darth Vader. This is something completely different:

This is it in frame with the original.

Anyway, here are two random photos! The first one is of the new notebook, nicknamed Sheldon but networked and registered as Torchwood Four. The second is a t-shirt I couldn't resist buying which arrived today, just in time to be a birthday present to myself.



I know, my life is just so exciting, isn't it?

Music: I want to know your plans - Say Anything
Mood: Writing, writing, writing

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I see a bad moon rising

The key to really enjoying a film is to go into it with absolutely no expectations and with a good sense of humour (because ok maybe you have the expectation that it is going to suck, whatever). Last night I saw New Moon with Em and her boyfriend, who was by far more into it than either of us. Really, his enthusiasm is adorable. For those who live under a rock, it is the second film of four based on the immensely popular Twilight novels written by Stephenie Meyer, and is all about vampires and werewolves but without the pesky constraints of horror convention and tradition.

Amazingly enough, I actually enjoyed this movie. In my opinion, it was much better than the first one. This is probably in no small part due to the fact that Cedric is barely in it. Minimal stuttered dialogue and lack of chemistry topped with pained facial expressions mean less eye-rolling for me. Yay! Taylor Lautner, who of course plays Jacob Black, surprised me by out-acting virtually everyone. He is the most natural and most believable of the lot of them. Save perhaps Alice, who is adorable. Jasper has maybe all of two lines and still stands around like he's been caught in headlights, but it's Jasper so who cares - plus I loved his final line. The Laurent scene in the meadow was comic relief, though I doubt that was intended. He said something that sent me into a fit of giggles but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Nobody else really warrants any attention...oh except that Mike character, man he's annoying. I mean he was annoying in the books, but he's just moron level of annoying now. Oh, I also realised Em and I totally have a thing for Carlisle though. Every time he came on screen (which is not nearly often enough) we'd both just sigh happily.

I know Lizzie for one will disagree with me here, but I actually love the Volturi. They have an edge of creepiness that's generally lacking in this franchise. I thought they captured the vibe I got from them in the books perfectly, with the other two being alternately deathly bored and unamused, while Aro just runs around all gleefully. It's amusing. While he is not a reflection of my mental image of Aro, I think Michael Sheen did a great job with what little he had to work with. Also, Dakota Fanning as Jane is just perfect. I would love to see more of them, especially her "brother" Alec...for no other reason other than he's adorable. So if we could have him, Jasper and Carlisle in the back of every scene, I will stop complaining about how much Cedric is ruining everything.

Seriously, not once while reading the books did I ever think "Man I wish someone would take out Edward." Jake yes, Bella yes, never Edward. But watching the films I catch myself thinking that quite often. That's why I shall forever refer to him as Cedric, for he is not, nor shall he ever be, anything remotely close to the Edward in my head. Ugh why couldn't we have had Tom Sturridge or Gaspard Ulliel or something? I'm sure there's an unknown actor out there that would have done a great job much like Taylor. I am sorry that I keep picking on the guy, really I am. In the back of my head I know that I should give him a break...but I just can't seem to help myself.

But I digress. The point is, I did not loathe this and I may even watch it again when it comes out on DVD - something I certainly never felt like doing with the first one. So yes, by all means go see it and bring your own opinion on the hype. Just don't expect anything and it'll be fine.

Meanwhile, I've started watching The Avengers and I love it way more than I really should. It's on at 1am on Fridays and it just cracks me up.

Music: Resistance - Muse
Mood: Sleepy

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered

I am feeling emo about NaNoWriMo (convenient that it kind of rhymes). I don't like failing things, it drives me ever so slightly loopy. It gnaws at me. That's why I have this terrible habit of not pursuing things I am not immediately good at, I cannot stand the possibility of failing so I don't even try. That's the odd twist of my perfectionism.

My perfectionism is also what is making this so hard. I'm self-editing and thinking too much as I go along, wasting time over where to break sentences, and whether to include a comma there or not. It's counterproductive to just getting the damn story out there. I keep telling this to myself and yet my brain keeps going "yes, yes, in a minute." Now I need 19,000 words to end this madness and I have what, 5 days left.

I'm annoyed more than anything. I don't do failure. I don't do not reaching word limits. After everything I've managed to do this year, am I really going to let a little bit of creative writing get the better of me? Creative writing, for crying out loud, it's supposed to be my playground.

The answer is no, I am not. NaNoWriMo thinks it can upset me and keep me down, well it clearly doesn't know me very well.

Music: Hum Hallelujah - Fall Out Boy
Mood: Determined

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're all in the gutter

I guess we all think we grow up, but some things you can never outgrow. It's coded into the very essence of you. Most of the time that's a comfort, but some nights it just feels like a prison.

There used to be a blog I'd read that tended to reflect melancholy nights like these when there's nothing but my own mediocre existence buzzing through my thoughts. In a way I suppose I was in love with the boy who wrote it. Not for the real person he (is)was, or the way he acted, or who he pretended to be. Just the simple words, on the other side of the keyboard, sitting in front of a screen when he should have be sleeping. Friends will say now "you had such a crush on him" but it was never him, it was just the words. The outpouring of the inner self of a depressive, insomniac, compulsive, control freak who acknowledged when the world overwhelmed him, both in the good and the bad. It alternately gave me something to think about, and something to grab hold of. Sometimes it just simply kicked my own thoughts back into drive - I would just write. Most of the time it was just the disconcerting familiarity that existed when someone seemed to mirror and capture your own thoughts so perfectly, that you would no longer feel alone or unique, and you didn't whether that was good or bad.

That blog no longer exists. I'm sure the words still do though, even if they're no longer meant for prying eyes. I can understand that. Growing up, after all. But I'll always remember. Maybe that will be enough. Though I'll always be missing that little something that complimented me so perfectly, when I knew it didn't matter whether I had a reason to feel what I feel or whether I could even put a name to it, because he knew what it was like.

I say this now because I'm teetering on the edge of recognition. I can feel it in the back of my mind, beyond this weird melancholy that came uninvited and stayed for dinner. The words and the feelings are churning around, a dull press against my eyes. All it takes is a well placed phrase and they'll come spilling out without rhyme or reason, paragraph or punctuation. Just images and phrases. Somewhere in there I recognise that I shouldn't need this push off the proverbial cliff. I shouldn't need a spark from someone else to set this night on fire. It'll happen by itself eventually, no doubt. Something will catch my eye, free my imagination and let the words flow. I just know this would be easier if that blog was still around, and this night would seem a little more productive with an end game for the whole tortured artist routine.

i am a wing and a prayer
ill give you heatstroke
you and i
gave our lives to strange times
ill take your sun
ill shake your son
and make him shine on you
ill sing all of your favorite songs
one more time
out of tune

Music: Across the universe - Rufus Wainwright
Mood: Pensive

In which a day of procrastination is revealed

NaNoWriMo is going poorly. I really need to stop bloody procrastinating. Yet here I am. Fail.

It doesn't particularly help that I'm so beyond tired all the time, I don't know what's wrong with me. Yawn after yawn, it's annoying. I spent my afternoon napping on the couch.

I know I've mentioned it before, but Lie to Me really is a great show. I am surprised it doesn't get more hype. I've also started watching Better off Ted which is amusing in that 30 Rock kind of way.

I started reading the first one of the last batch of TW novels last night, 'Risk Assessment' by James Goss. You may remember him from my mention of his other TW novel, the crack-fest 'Almost Perfect'. Though I am only four chapters in, I think it is safe to say that out of all the Torchwood novelist, James Goss probably has the firmest handle on the demographic he is writing for. Out of all of them, his work also reads the most like fanfiction and seems to stumbled a little over the fine line of crack-territory that sci-fi often toes. All this is fine however because James Goss, as it turns out, knows how to entertain. Besides, I do so love intertextuality and he does it so well. The man's chapter headings! Honestly, I would not have believed chapter headings could be so joyful if I had never seen his. I though the status-update 'Almost Perfect' ones would never be topped, but those in 'Risk Assessment' come pretty close:

Bleeding Heart Yard: In which something quite remarkable must account for herself, there is sad mention of a submarine, and the domestic skills of Mr Jones are brought into question.

Moving In Society: Containing the Children of Emo, an adventure in a horseless carriage, and Miss Havisham's brief career as an exotic dancer.

Is it particularly well-written? I don't even know. I don't even care. I do know it's amusing however.

I really need to do something about how easily amused I am. Also, I fear I am a disappointment to academia considering my lack of respect for any boundaries of supposed high and low brow culture. It's all fair game to me.

This book talk actually dovetails nicely with the conversation I had with Miss L this morning which alluded to the question whether canon was something to be respected, or something more malleable that can be tested and changed. It came on the back of your discussion about a quote from everyone's favourite megalomaniac regarding the Whoniverse and the whole number of regenerations issue.

I find it interesting to think about these things, not only as a viewer/reader/responder, but from a writer's perspective as well. Personally I feel that it is vital to consider your responders when you are composing something within an existing format. A whole world has already been created and though you may not particularly like it, you are still bound to the laws of that world. If you want to go nuts and do your own thing, you have to start a different verse, do an AU, or just come up with your own original creations. Thus we have comic books - so many variations of the same thing, all tweaking the rules ever so slightly as they go. It's an indefinite number of worlds out there.

Again I can only comment on what I personally prefer, but I am such a stickler for details, when someone makes a throw-away comment in a show, even if it is just a single line, I expect it to be adhered to within the limitations of that show...or book, whatever really, it's all the same. To me it's canon, and so I expect a level of consistency to be carried for the duration. I mean sure you can come along three years later and say a genie appeared from a lamp and made it all go away [Lizzie is thinking "A wizard did it!" - yeah I know, I'm in your head, creepy huh?], but that's just sloppy and totally compromises immersion in said fictional world. You can't just run round making stuff up as you go along, alright yes it's fiction, but you're still working within existing parameters and so surely there is some responsibility to stick to them. Otherwise nothing means anything and that is not fair on the audience. How can someone maintain trust in something that constantly changes to suit its needs? There are ways for this to be circumvented I suppose, but I don't think one should enter into such means lightly.

I'm not talking about, you know, who shot JR and it all being a dream anyway, or other miraculous re-appearances from characters who have been killed (that's simple Back From The Dead tactics, an old stand by in entertainment and a definite case of never say never), I'm more concerned with major things that impact upon your protagonist and form part of the audience's basic understanding of how the fictional world works. It's like saying actually Tony's family never cut him off, or Larry never truly went into space. Elements of what make the characters who and what they are, shape the world in which they exist. Or, to perhaps stretch the image a bit thinly, it's like finding out Batman was actually an alien all along. Changing the fundamental make-up of the character will change everything, not only for the future, but also how the past is viewed.Take one from the other, and you risk cheapening the whole experience.

What did I say yesterday about straying completely into geekdom? In the words of Comic Book Guy - But Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills, you're from two different worlds! Oh, I have wasted my life.

So, any opinions? Think it's alright to tamper with existing mythology to suit your own aims as creator? Or should you sacrifice your "creative vision" to adhere to the world that already exists?

Music: Little Dreamer - Future Islands
Mood: Sore

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I just don't know what to do with myself

You know you have really strayed into full-blown geekdom the day you no longer think it would be weird to buy say a R2-D2 Peppermill, and instead believe everyone will think it is totally cool. I found myself thinking that this surely was the height of kitchen coolness and so, dear readers, I have stumbled well and truly from part-time dabbler into Big Bang Theory nerdom. I'm a comic book addiction away from the point of no return.

...and I love it.


A homo habilis just discovering his opposable thumbs says what?

Meanwhile, I noticed in the paper this morning that Harvey Norman were having a laptop sale, so of course I go have a look. Now honestly, I didn't need to. This laptop, while being unable to run live messenger, having sound card problems, a wonky cd drive, periodic crash dumps, and a screen that blacks out whenever it chooses, is actually still working fine. I cannot justify purchasing a new laptop.

I still did though. I love, love this HP Pavilion I've had the last three years, it's gorgeous and has a 15.4" widescreen and full sized keyboard that has served me well. Now I've gotten a superlightweight HP Pavilion dm3 Notebook, which is only 13.3 inches and it's taking some getting used to. There's not nearly as much space to work with and of course all my desktops are way too big now. That said it's probably going to be better for taking around with me to uni and such. Plus I could only get a 13" or 16" and higher, the laptop bag my friends had made for me only takes up to 15.6" and hell, I haven't even used it yet, I'm not going to get a laptop that doesn't fit.

Anyway yes. Now I have a new laptop. Why don't people stop me from doing this to myself?

I'm doing the set-up as I type this. Oh god I hate change...

Music: The whir of the fan
Mood: Annoyed

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm not one for lovesongs

Just saw the teaser from the next Doctor Who special. Epic glee. I seriously should not experience such joy at the return of my favourite lunatic, especially not when it promises Ten's demise, but I can't help it. I just love John Simm's Master and cannot wait to see what new madness he will bring with him this time.

In unrelated news, stumbled upon this on the movie blog I read:

Summit Entertainment announced today that "New Moon" completely trounced midnight opening records by "Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince" ($22.2 million) and "The Dark Knight" (previous record holder with $18.5 million) by taking in a whopping $26.27 million in midnight screenings from 3,514 theaters last night. Predictions for box-office receipts this weekend are ranging in the $90-$100 million range which is outrageously good numbers if they can hit those targets and pretty good indication that no matter how much critics and many adults hate "Twilight" it is here to stay.

Wait, whaaaat? How did it do better than The Dark Knight? I mean come on, seriously? And alright, I haven't seen it yet but I will at some point provided someone is going with me since I can't very well go by myself, but my expectations are about as low as they were for the second Transformers movie. Just the thought that it is put in the same frame of reference as the Dark Knight is a bit laughable really. I mean hell, that had Christian Bale (who I'd back against Cedric any day) and a brilliant performance by Heath Ledger. There was excellent cinematography, dramedy, explosions, a great score, facial expression...aaaah I am so petty, I'll stop. The New Moon reviews have been less than promising. I'm always a bit sceptical when it comes to this because often reviewers will just hate something because they expect they should hate it. It's not really about the actual output at all. The whole Twilight franchise gets so much crap, people just mock if because that's the expected thing. That said, I've heard a couple of fans saying that it isn't as good as the first one. Now in my humble opinion the first one was rather ridiculous, so I'm concerned where we can go from there.

This is from another review:

We're the first to admit that we're not the target audience for "New Moon" (you know, because we have taste and aren't swooning teenage girls). But there's playing to your base, and there's making a bad film, and this is more a case of the latter. Even teenage girls (who have previously been responsible for the success of Hanson and "Saved by the Bell") are too smart for this movie. And if they're not, we're in trouble as a species.

Promising, isn't it? I really don't understand why these movies aren't better. I don't know if it's the casting, the direction, the script or just a basic problem with the source material. So the books aren't exactly prize winning literature, but they still had a spark about them that made it readable and enjoyable enough to spawn such a rabid fanbase, and that is clearly not translating. It probably has something to do with the books having a heavy internal reflection going on that can't really be carried into film. I have half a mind to try and script them myself just to see if it can be done properly.

Yes, that is delusions of grandeur you sensed in that last line. Studying a semester of screenwriting and watching Adaptation does not qualify such throw-away lines. But hey, I may be bored sometime, you never know.

Anyway, I'm revelling in the breeze and my freedom from the evils of air-conditioning. It makes me feel so sick, it's insane. Meanwhile, they're predicting 49 degrees for the inner west tomorrow. Beach, yes/yes?

Music: The world has its shine - Cobra Starship
Mood: Lazy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Left a week to roam

Some days you wake up and you just know you'd be better off staying in bed. There's a feeling that makes your muscles twitch with the promise of tension and your synapses fire discontent. You know it's not going to go well. Today has been one of those days. It's been trying. Oh so very trying.

Work this morning was all sorts of hell since the other receptionist doesn't seem to understand the basic principle of not double booking patients. Or entering data correctly. I'm supposed to be sympathetic because she's busy. Yes, well, I had 14 patients in, most already grumpy thanks to the heat, while also managing to not only fix the incorrect entries, but actually do my own paperwork as well. As I've said many, many times, this job is not rocket science. It's admin, filing, answering phones. In the future, monkeys will be doing it. Or robots. Perhaps monkey robots...whatever, the point is, it's not that difficult so focus and stop making more work for me.

I'm also quite tired of people acting so high and mighty about their degrees, and then they all end up studying teaching anyway. Oh yes, well done. On that note, I don't want to teach, alright? So kindly stop suggesting it. I know that my degree is generally rather useless, and even when it is of value it is in a hugely competitive area (and I've realised that I will generally be competing for jobs with my friends. Car pool for interviews guys?) but I'd still rather slum around before I teach. Just because I can do it, doesn't mean I should. I'd be a terrible teacher, plus I'd constantly want to kill them. I may possibly be a better uni tutor, but I am likely to instruct people to google something when they ask me a question. But this is all besides the point, I don't want to be a teacher! Bah.

I'm now feeling completely deflated. If anyone wants me, check the dark corners, I'm coming home.

This is the story of your red right ankle
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle, bone, and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly shed

And how it whispered “Oh, adhere to me
For we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb.”
This is the story of your red right ankle.

This is the story of your gypsy uncle
You never knew ‘cause he was dead
And how his face was carved and rife with wrinkles
In the picture in your head.

And remember how you found the key
To his hide-out in the Pyrenees
But you wanted to keep his secret safe
So you threw the key away.
This is the story of your gypsy uncle.

This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet, some were cold and snuffed you
And some just laid around in bed.

Some had crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some had crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle.

Music: Red Right Ankle - The Decemberists
Mood: Tense and upset

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sleep in peace when the day is done

In the last week or so, it has come to my attention that the following bands will be gracing our shores this summer:

Grizzly Bear
The Decemberists
Camera Obscura
Biffy Clyro
The View
Brand New
The Dead Weather
Them Crooked Vultures
Cobra Starship

There is also major festival sidehows by Calvin Harris, AFI, MCR, Placebo, etc etc. I'm still holding out for a Muse sideshow too. Possibly also The Killers.

I don't know what to do. At roughly $80 a pop, I cannot possibly go to all of them. It's an utterly depressing thought considering the gig drought 2009 turned out to be. Why must I be denied these brief moments of happiness? Sigh.

Clearly I need to turn to a life of crime. Added incentive comes in the form of the Sydney Festival which this year is also hosting a great number of plays including Hamlet. Meanwhile te Sydney Theatre Company are putting on a production of Chekov's Uncle Vanya starring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh which I obviously have to attend. I mean come on.

I still haven't managed to get rid of this extra Soundwave ticket. Grumps. Everyone says they don't like going to festivals. Uh and I do? Make no mistake, I loathe it with every fibre of my being, but the line-up people! The line-up. I suppose if you're not into it, shelling out a stupid amount to do something you don't like is pretty insane. I can't hold it against anyone. Still doesn't change the fact that I have a spare ticket to offload though.

I'm really going to make an effort to enjoy summer in the city this time around.

But anyway, I suppose that is neither here nor there. Back to NaNoWriMo.

Music: Feeling good - Muse
Mood: Working

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unravelling the mystery that all started with a big bang

Hola Nerdmigos! I can say that as Lizzie came over today so we could indulge in that age old practice of Doctor Who fangirling. Bless the internet. They didn't really think I was going to wait until December to see it, did they? Fail, Australian television, fail.

Firstly, I got a lovely surprise at 7am this morning when my birthday present from Abbi arrived. I think this means I have now received all my birthday presents, and it's still ten days until my actual birthday. Roze and Em have had the custom Crumpler laptop bag made for me, which I don't actually have yet but it's ready and regularly flailed over. My parents had this custom canvas print made from a photo I took because I always wanted to buy the Eiffel Tower one at IKEA. It now hangs above my bed. Lizzie got me lots of lovely things on her travels, including a cute red and black skull scarf. Now Abbi has concluded the fangirl gifts with a Ianto figure as well as earrings and tights. I'm more than content.

Then, of course, there was The Waters of Mars. Hello creepiness! I think that space suit should get some sort of prize for best supporting costume, although as Lizzie pointed out, it's only ever in creepy episodes. The main thing I got from it was how much resentment I harbour at the whole thing in general. Blergh. Children of Earth ruined everything. I know I shouldn't be like this, I know it. You know, intellectually and all that, I can see that I should be able to separate things. But I can't do it. I just can't. I'm not even getting as antsy and worked up as I previously would have because COE took it out of me. Now I love the Doctor, I really do. Not to mention that I love Ten, I'm going to be terribly sad when it's all over for him. I still kind of wanted to slap him when he got all power happy in the end there. I was just like...gah. It's because you fucked around with timelines that we're in this mess in the first place. That bit in the middle, when he was talking about Pompeii? Yeah I know what you did there, creators, I've read all your stupid interviews so I'm going to read into subtle subtext and kind of hate you for it.

See, I suppose my problem is that I was always more of a Torchwood fan before I was a Who fan. I know I'm in the minority and don't get me wrong, I adore Doctor Who so very much, but something about TW just clicked with me in a way few things do. If they made me choose between the two after season 1, I would have chosen TW. So I have a lot of resentment stored up, and I must say I resent it even more now that I know it's translating. Because I can't look at the Doctor without kind of blaming him for everything. Which is irrational, I know. But there you go. Mostly I just level my feelings of animosity at RTD *scrunches nose*

Still, I'm excited for the next one, The Master! Yessssssssssssssss.

God I am such a pathetic geek loser. Ah well. Such is my lot in life.

To compliment that sentiment, we watched the first seven or so episodes of The Big Bang Theory to round off the afternoon. I love that show so much. Sheldon! Hee. My mum calls it my Torchwood rebound relationship. She's probably right, although this one never causes any angst.

I'm now weighing up working on NaNoWriMo versus catching up on all the other things I haven't watched recently, like Merlin.

Man I really am a geek. Forget it, I'm going to go hang out at the comic book store.

Music: Hey Jude - The Beatles
Mood: Geeky

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm on my feet, I'm on the floor, I'm good to go

Are you gonna live your life wondering,
Standing in the back,
Looking around?

Are you gonna waste your time thinking,
How you’ve grown up,
Or how you missed out?

Things are never gonna be the way you want.
Where's it gonna get you acting serious?
Things are never gonna be quite what you want,
Or even at 25,
You gotta start sometime.

Big fish, small fish
Original here.

Music: A praise chorus - Jimmy Eat World
Mood: So sleepy I can barely stay upright

Monday, November 16, 2009

The truth about heaven

I thought NaNoWriMo was supposed to make you feel better about your writing. At the moment I just want to bang my head against the wall.

Ariene arrives at the rectory just before midnight. She is content to watch at first as she regains her breath. She had to improvise a bit, not having arranged previous transport, so she parked her Tesla two kilometers away and walked in along the back road. She preferred to hire bikes when doing a job, they were easier to conceal and made it much easier to lose a tail should it be required.
Ari isn’t usually one for going into something on a whim, but this is bloody Zusak. If she doesn’t act quickly she’ll miss her chance and that simply isn't an option. She really has an axe to grind with the man. After all, it is rather damaging to a reputation to have a bounty taken from under one’s nose, but what comes around goes around. Ari sniffs. Karma is a bitch.


On this topic, I feel I need to address Abbi's novel (which you can read by donating here). I know that she is completely heartbroken, an outcome I have been dreading from the start. It's so much worse knowing that it's unavoidable, a necessary step in another direction. It was hard enough to deal with in the first draft short story format, but the journey has been much bigger this time and the consequences hit even harder. I just want to give Abs a huge virtual hug and hope that everyone who can actually give her a real hug will do so for me.

When I first came up with Eric over two years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), I saw a pale, too-thin guy who sneered at the world and swore to love nothing. He was broken, contradictory, confrontational and absolutely gorgeous. Along with Blake, Chris and Tyler, Abbi and I created our ultimate band that we loved enough to plan an entire television show around. And make no mistake, we really do love these boys. They are very much real to us. I've always favoured Eric in my flashfic pieces because he is so fucked up which gives me a lot of depth to work with. It's wrong to play favourites I know, but I love the boy to death.

Abs and I went all out creating back stories for these boys, but I don't think either of us could ever have predicted how attached we would become to Eric's. Again, there was just so much there to work with. When Anthony came to Abbi, it all just fell into place, and she sculpted this tale that fit my boy perfectly. It is hard to go through it, and I know it is incredibly hard for Abs to write it because I know how much she loves Anthony, but it is sadly necessary for the bigger picture. A picture I hope you will all one day see. In the end it is the characters that dictate the path of the story.

I realise I have just justified something as being "necessary for the story" - a line of thought I have been vehemently contesting since July. I promise you that this is nothing like that. It is not something that could have been avoided and it is not something that was entered into lightly or happily, and certainly not something we'll be making fun of in the future. Because we are real writers, and sometimes your characters creep in under your skin and become as close to you as our own flesh and blood.

I just had to write something cause I need people to know how incredibly hard this is for her. This is the best I can do stuck halfway across the world and without cursed live messenger. Much love dude. I'm sorry that I inadvertently made this a necessity. I really am.

Music: The fan squeaking
Mood: Dizzy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Endings come unbidden

I'm at this old hotel
But can't tell if I've been breathing or sleeping
Or screaming or waiting for the man to call
And maybe all of the above
Cause mostly I've been sprawled on these cathedral steps
While spitting out the blood and screaming
"Someone save us!"

Heaven help us now
Come crashing down
We'll hear the sound
As you're falling down

And will you pray for me?
Or make a saint of me?
And will you lay for me?
Or make a saint of...

Cause I'll give you all the nails you need
Cover me in gasoline
Wipe away those tears of blood again
And the punchline to the joke is asking
Someone save us

I just saw this featured on deviant art and kinda fell in love with it.
Not the end of the world
Original here.

Meanwhile I'm watching the last ever episode of Rove. I still can't believe it's the end!

Music: Rove
Mood: Sad

The people I've met are the wonders of my world

I want to blog but at the same time I don't. I don't know. I feel a bit like that in general, want to do things but don't. The lack of messenger has just generally made me less likely to get on the computer and stay there all day. But I'm here now so might as well give it a shot. It may even drum up some enthusiasm for actual writing.

Right, first things first, cocktails on Friday were quite enjoyable. Em and R were both working, so I met them at R's place and hung about scaring customers and flailing over my bag...well ok so the latter was me. But yay! Bag! Not to mention the bag is a celebrity in its own right haha. We headed off to dinner at what is fast becoming "our" restaurant. It was as always perfectly lovely. We were just finishing up when Lizzie arrived at Kuletos so we headed up there. We immediately started in on the cocktails, we were celebrating the end of the semester even if we were broke, tired, sore and with no real way to get home dammit! It was good fun. We didn't have quite the turnout we had anticipated since another party had come up, but whatever, we still enjoyed ourselves. I headed off a bit earlier than I would have liked but with the parentals being away, I didn't want to drunkenly try and traipse home after midnight. Curse the lack of public transport near here. But yes, the conclusion is as always: Kamikazes FTW.

Yesterday didn't even put up a pretence of being a day worth acknowledging. I literally spent it watching television, and mostly Nevermind the Buzzcocks at that. I had only ever seen a few random eps that I'd youtube at Abs suggestion, so when I came across 4 seasons worth of it, I decided it was worth perusing. I'm up to the last season I have now, about 8 eps left or something, I don't know. All I do know is that you know you've been watching too much consecutive buzzcocks that when Lee Ryan does actually show up you start laughing the second they just say his name. I also watched Goldfinger which is not nearly as good as I remember it being. Hm.

Meanwhile, my neighbours and the bugs had a conspiracy going to see who could freak me out the most. Seriously, so many weird noises, it's ridiculous. My neighbours have been particularly noisy this weekend, I don't know what they're doing but I really wish they'd stop. Ugh.

I made a point to be more productive today, so I've cleaned the house and I might give Oreo a bath after I have lunch in a second. Then I suppose I should do some more writing. It's not that I don't have ideas to write, once I get going I'm pretty much set, it's just sitting down behind my laptop is really not appealing at the moment. I just don't...want to be here. I feel like I'm missing out on things, completely mundane things it's true like lying in the sun or watching Oreo chase lizards, but I suppose after being trapped inside for virtually the entire year thanks to research and academic nonsense, the thought that I should do this willingly seems preposterous.

It must be said though, my NaNoWriMo novel is fraught with so many technical problems, it's enough to make you weep. It has such an identity crisis, it doesn't know if it's coming or going. There are so many different elements at play in a future that is both progressive yet traditional. There are far too many characters, one-time namedrops that make me feel like I am trying to keep track of the cast of Anna Karenina (but at least their names don't all sound the same which is a luxury Tolstoy never afforded anyone). The tenses are a tangled ball of past and present, and my third-person narrator cannot decided whether it is omniscient or not. Perhaps it is being purposefully obtuse.

What is a bit more worrying at the moment is that I'm set to start Chapter 7 next and nothing has really happened. I'm also almost a third of the way done. I was aiming for about 30 - 35 chapters, but at this rate I'm bound to hit 50,000 at Chapter 20. Why am I making more work for myself?

During all this, I can't help thinking about the Reel challenge. I have bits and pieces written down for that as well, but upon re-watching Goldfinger last night I realised I remembered it a bit differently than it went down. I also want to re-read the book before I actually get to writing it...and it's due the 14th of December. Mum and I may be going away the first weekend of December though, so I'm hoping to finish it all off that weekend. Beach cabin FTW.

It's actually funny to think about it all being done. Cause beyond that there's...well, nothing. I don;t know what I'll do when I get to that point. I have kind of gotten used to having some or other impossible deadline hanging over my head this year.

Rocks fall, everybody dies.

The only other thing I have to say is how tired I am of hearing about New Moon and it's not even out yet. Four separate pieces on it in the Telegraph today. Four. It's not only the fact that I just generally don't like the film franchise (based on the first, I concede I don't know this one will be atrocious, I am just assuming it from the lack of facial expressions), but I just feel that the entire thing is being misconstrued. Mostly I think the way people are interpreting the books are a direct result of the movie(s) which in itself did not do an adequate job of conveying the magic of the books. I do not know what that magic is, it baffles me as much as anyone, but I am not going to deny that there is definitely something about them. I devoured them with a fervour that can possibly only be explained by crack being laced in the pages. Who knows. It doesn't matter anyway. Fair enough, the fans are annoying, most fans of things are annoying. Come footy season, I find the nutters harping on about it just as annoying. I know I myself am no walk in the park when it comes to my ceaseless Doctor Who this and Torchwood that, but at least my fandom doesn't seemingly encompass the entire world and feature on every website, paper, and magazine. Still, I try to be forgiving as everyone is entitled to their fandoms. This was in the telegraph today:

"Basically, the (Twilight) books, especially the fourth, detail a textbook abusive relationship," Hamley said. / Editor Abigail Nathan of Bothersome Words enjoyed the books but has her concerns. "Adults are frequently disturbed by the nature of Bella and Edward's relationship, describing Edward as a stalker and Bella as a victim," she said. "There's an interesting selection of messages, with Bella constantly pushing Edward to sleep with her, and ultimately ending up bruised and battered." / Fantasy author Glenda Lake is also concerned with the way Bella never finds strength within herself and must, indeed, always be saved by Edward. "It harks back to a different age," she said. "Women my age had to fight to escape that kind of thinking." / "To present a heroine who never stands on her own two feet is to present a ghastly role model for today's youth."

Really? I am the first person to bitch about the general shittiness of female protagonists in literature - an undertone anyone who saw my short-lived I-hate-the-world post on Sunday will no doubt recognize - but much like the outrage after Breaking Dawn declaring it to be anti-choice, I just don't see it. I think there is an intensity crafted in the books that is so realistic, that you never question the validity of the relationship because it's just...right. That parents think Edward is a stalker and Bella a victim is entirely due to film which failed epically to capture that intensity, and they are played very much like stalker/victim (something that may be remedied by actual facial expressions. Just saying.)

The whole thing is very much in the Romeo and Juliet mould. If Juliet didn't end up battered and bruised, it's because Romeo is not a vampire nor did he have vampire friends. If you mess with things that are out of your league, then you are going to get hurt. Does that make it an abusive relationship? I hardly think so. I also think it's unfair to say Bella always waits on him to rescue her. In the first novel for example, she makes the active decision to go to whathisname to save her mother. It's a trap and ok yes, Edward does charge in and save her, but that's only fair since we're talking vampire/vampire death match. Bella isn't Buffy, she doesn't have slayer ass-kicking skills, but she never even pretends to be. So ok, moot point. Now this is just my interpretation of the whole thing, but I don't think Bella is a passive character. Cinderella is a passive character - everything happens to her, she doesn't actually do anything unless the decision is made for her. Bella makes her own decisions, they may seem small and inconsequential, but they are still very much moments where she exerts her own beliefs. I think the problem comes with Bella being more of a watcher, she's more introspective in watching and reacting to things which is often mistaken for inactivity. It is this quality that eventually dictates her "power" as a vampire, and saves the day I suppose. Cue trumpets.

Alright no, sarcasm aside, my point is I think they're being a bit harsh on the whole thing and as per usual, reading way too much into things. As a cultural studies student, I have had so many moments where I just wanted to scream "Can't a tree just be a tree?" because you know what, everyday people who look at a tree don't sit there and analyse the meaning of the tree or the significance of the place it's growing and how it is a metaphor for colonialisation or the presence of the Other. No, they just see a tree. Girls reading Twilight, they see a love-story. Not a dialogue on the Mormon church or a positive portrayal of abusive relationships or even the suppression of female will. Or are we seriously going to argue that people who are fans of Twilight are going to find themselves in abusive relationships and being forced into situations they don't actually want to be in because Bella is a bad role model? Not only do I not see anything in the books that could lead to such a thing (I'm sure you can find it if you wanted to, if there's one thing I've realised at uni it's that you can find anything in virtually everything), but it's just a classic case of shifting the blame yet again really, isn't it? Society has no accountability. It's so easy to blame school shootings on Marilyn Manson, and violence and crime on videogames. Yet we enforce stricter rules and regulations on these things and it makes no difference, the figures keep going up and we find something else to blame when the real problem is society's inability to take that blame upon itself and do something about it internally.

Although it is tempting, I'm not going to say "it's just a book." As the saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword and for all intents and purposes, I'm quite firmly of the belief that words as vehicles for meaning are incredibly powerful. I also realise that when you are an obsessive fan of something it permeates your entire being and becomes a part of your life, so in that sense saying "it's just a book" can be quite hurtful and insulting. It's true that it can shape a person, and influence their beliefs and the way in which they view the world. But at the same time, this is teen fiction and a romance written by a first time author, and I think levelling the kind of cultural analysis upon the franchise the way many are doing is actually rather beside the point really. I do not for one second believe fangirls are going to end up meek and complacent in archaic female roles because hey, Edward Cullen or Jacob Black are not going to come along and sweep them off their feet. Real guys aren't like that and won't generate the same response. They know this, it's fantasy. Is that really so damaging?

I must digress now since I'm starving. I don't really know what the point of all this was. Ramble post ahoy!

Music: Hometown Glory - Adele
Mood: Meh

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So keep it steady now

Em and I had a delightful girly day out today. It started with an hour massage at a Day Spa in York street, lunch and shopping in Balmain, and a bit more shopping in the CBD after. I really had a brilliant time. I also highly recommend a massage to anyone, it's well worth whatever they want to charge you.

Tomorrow we're hosting cocktails to celebrate the end of semester. I'm meeting Em and R for dinner first, and then the rest are congregating at the bar. Should be good, ignoring the bit where we're all flat broke and where I have no idea how I'm actually going to get home afterwards. Oh well.

Parentals are going away for the weekend. I intend to catch up on NaNoWriMo. So behind it's not even funny. Did get some decent writing done in Starbucks this morning. It was brilliant start to the day really. Finding out The View are doing a Sydney show certainly didn't hurt.

Other news - messenger still hates me, and I have four mosquito bites on my foot that itch like hell.

Some Mat Devine wisdom -

So, is there a guy out there for you? Absolutely. –But your life goal is not to ‘be thin’ to impress ‘that guy’. Your life goal is ‘to experience the best shit that the planet has to offer’ , ‘to make history’, and ‘to live up to your full potential’. You want an obituary that’s 5 pages long.. not 5 words.

Music: Bruised - Jack's Mannequin
Mood: Sleepy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swallowing the ground beneath my feet

"It looks like another installer is preventing Windows from working."

You know what else is going to prevent Windows from working? My shoe through the screen. For the last four days I have been trying to install the new version of Windows Messenger as they for some reason took offence to my old version (which in itself irks me, if I don't want to new version, why not just leave me be? I don't like the bubble-esque appearance of the new one.) As I could not sign in anymore, I had no choice but to click 'yes' on their update now dialogue box, but alas, that's were progress ended. I have received that lovely message ever since. I don't know what to do anymore. I can promise you nothing else is running while I'm downloading. I try to do it when I've just started it up and nothing else is open. I turned off my virus-protection thinking that may be blocking it and lowered the firewall...nothing. I deleted the old version and tried to start from scratch...nothing. GAH.

Meanwhile, I had such big plans for NaNoWriMo last night and then around 5, mum came home early with her work friend in tow. The friend and I decided this was excellent cause for wine drinking and Big Bang Theory watching (kites ho!). Then when we dropped her off, we continued the wine-drinking there. I'm not going to lie, I don't handle my wine very well. I can drink cocktails all night, but after three glasses of wine, I'm a giggly fool. Suffice it to say, the writing plans were sort of out of the window after that.

I'm going to try and make some progress today. As well as exercise, I've been slacking. I can't even blame my thesis anymore since that all officially finished yesterday. Shock and awe. This afternoon, I'm taking Gwen, Tosh, Owen, Jack and Ianto over to Em's place. Fandom ahoy.

Music: Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin
Mood: Not bovvered

Sydney summers own my heart

A day like today is why I love living here. That's right, I love Sydney mostly because it's gorgeous and has equally gorgeous weather. That's why I get mopey when it rains for days on end cause if I wanted to deal with that sort of thing, I'd move to Europe where it would at least be compensated for with style and sophistication. But is perfect. I'm guessing we're pushing 30, there isn't a single cloud in the sky only endless expanse of blue, and where I sit now I'm getting just the prefect type of seabreeze that lazily stirs the eucalyptus leaves and keeps things cool. All the colours seem to glow in the sunshine, brighter greens and deeper blues and the whites are all shimmering. It really is perfection and I sincerely doubt I could get this complete and utter joy, because of the weather of all things, anywhere else.

Oh Sydney, with your bogans and mediocre fashion and your unreliable public transport, your attemps at culture and the way nothing ever really happens, and your harbour overrun with tourist but shining like a diamond set in Jacaranda blossoms (well this time of year anyway), don't ever change. On these summer days I love you just the way you are.

In case you missed it, I love Sydney summers. The entire vibe of the places changes and you just want to be out there, enjoying every moment of it.

A butterfly just landed on my big toe. There are a lot of butterflies around here, I can't remember ever seeing this many at our old place.

Anyway, now that I've dabbled in misplaced romanticism, I better start working on NaNoWriMo. I'm aiming for 20,000 words tonight. I don't think it's going to happen, but hey, we aim high! The quicker I get there, the quicker it's over and done with. Like a band-aid.

I'm not even sure if this is written properly, the sun glare is intense and I can barely see the screen at all...

Music: Birds chirping and leaves rustling
Mood: Content

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Repetition makes an impression

And all our sins come back to haunt us in the end
To hang around and tap us on the shoulder
And smile
It's all implied
"You'll die trying to live this down, you might as well forget it."
Still, I'm convinced that wondering 'what if' is the worst thing there is

So we bottled and shelved all our regrets
Let them ferment and came back to our senses
Drove back home and slept a few days
Woke up and laughed at how stupid we used to be

And all these lines fall short of what I had in mind
A failed attempt to capsulize a feeling
So I just try and fail and try and try again
Someday I swear I'm going to get it
Because I'm convinced that giving in is the worst thing there is

So we bottled and shelved all our regrets
Let them ferment and came back to our senses
Drove back home and slept a few days
Woke up and laughed at how stupid we used to be

We'll get over it
Sad, strong, safe and sober
We'll move forward
And know where we went wrong
But "You can't go home again."

Music: Mistakes we knew we were making - Straylight Run
Mood: Drained

History boys

The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.

Music: Some random television program
Mood: Pissed off

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gunpowder treason and plot

I follow quite a lot of UK natives on Twitter (*waves to most*) and I would be a terrible liar if I said I wasn't utterly jealous reading all the updates alluding to fireworks and bonfires and festivities. Yesterday was of course November 5th, Guy Fawkes night. I have some very fond memories of November 5th, usually involving the entire street gathering on our front lawn setting off fireworks, having a barbecue, roasting marshmallows and generally being more sociable than people were the rest of the year when everyone kept to themselves behind their high walls and snooty attitudes. Every year my school principal gave the same speech about how it was really not something we should be celebrating and the man was a terrorist and fireworks are dangerous and blah blah whatever. In Primary School it was pretty much the highlight of the year...well, just after Christmas, of course.

Last night as I was trying to manage the rest of the day's word count and so sat staring out at the pitch black night, I couldn't help but dwell on how much I missed celebrating it. It really was one of the defining aspects of my childhood. I don't understand why they don't even mention it here (really, the only time it's ever mentioned is in relation to V for Vendetta and even then hardly anyone acknowledges it on the day) since we are still technically a British colony. Yet in South Africa, with its long, torturous history with the motherland, we did celebrate it. Maybe it was just because they approved of Guy's sentiment. I don't know.

I think next year I'm going to properly celebrate all the holidays no one else really does any justice to. I can go all out for Halloween and do the house up, and then I can have a bonfire on the 5th...perhaps on the beach, so I avoid the risk of starting a ginormous bushfire that destroys half the city.

Anyway, you are hypothetically looking at someone who has handed in their Honours thesis four days before it's due and has therefore entrusted her fate entirely to UTS. As ill-advised as that may seem, I am completely free. I will probably get my results around the same time I receive a response from USYD about my Masters application. Good times.

My only other observation of the day was the sincere wish that the apprentice hairdresser would actually exert some pressure when washing the colour out. She's a lovely girl but the pseudo head massage is one of my favourite parts of getting my hair done and she is just not even trying. Her predecessor was a genius at it so in comparison I feel a little short-changed. Sigh. They've switched brands on my dye too, so it's more red than it was before. It's lovely but I'll have to see how it sticks before I deliver a final judgement.

Finally, though I have said it on many platforms already today, happy birthday Abs! Sam's serenading you at my, um, request *cough*


Now that I have sufficiently rambled, back to NaNoWriMo. Why did I decide to write in third-person? If someone can explain this to me, please do. I'm writing slower than I normally do and I think the p.o.v is the key reason for this. I find it a lot easier to write in first-person, especially since my creative piece (which I ended up naming From a balance beam just so by the by) was in first. In third, everything is constantly verging on going to hell - tense, perspective, everything. I know I am not supposed to worry about any of this stuff and I should just be writing and getting words on paper, but...ugh! It's hard. I've always edited as I went along, even knowing there would be re-drafting happening later on. The interesting bit is using a narrative voice that isn't a direct vechile for the character, so I haven't even tried to make it fit really. It's just there, slightly formal and omniscient, keeping everything together. I've also never attempted anything even vaguely in this genre, so it's...different.

But hey, that's what this is all about right, experimentation and practice.

Music: Lightspeed - Twin Atlantic
Mood: Thirsty

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Darling this heart is on fire, and this life is but a dream

We're going to ride like silver on the desolation moonlight

Today's major activity was the binding of my Honours thesis. Four copies of fifty five pages later, it's ready to be handed in. Five days before the due date! That never happens. I refuse to read it again now that it's been bound though since I am sure I will find a mistake I somehow originally missed and then I will want to kill myself. So yes, as the saying goes, let sleeping dogs lie. I am going to try to hand it in tomorrow after my hair appointment.

Other than that, all I've done today is procrastinate and work on NaNaWriMo. I've written almost 3, 000 words. I need another chapter to be back on track with the target amount. Woe. I am fairly sure I'm just rambling about inconsequential nonsense. I drew up a vague chapter outline to prevent any more of that and have an optimistic set of 35. I can drop one here or there as I go along since my average chapters are about 2,200 words give or take.

Meep. I don't know if I can do this. But I'll try anyway.

Dance in my moonlight, my old friend the twilight

Music: Wooderson - The Gaslight Anthem
Mood: Working

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I've got soul but I'm not a soldier

On a Sunday morning the whole crowd assembled,
I've done some things that I'm not too proud of...
I've never left you, a deaf ear for longing.
Some hearts are gallows, I'm not here for hangin' around.

My study is a mess, I really need to sort it out. There is just paper everywhere. I swear a tree died in the editing on this uni work. Speaking of, I'm going to try and get it bound first thing in the morning, perhaps I can drop it off at uni and get it over and done with. I can't get in next week and I'm not sure when I'll have time. Sigh.

Got to hang out with Lizzie who returned from her world travels last week. We had lunch at Pancakes and an amble about the city as well as the obligatory Starbucks. It was a good way to spend an otherwise dreary afternoon. A lot of crazies were out again, which makes for good people watching. Case in point, bride and groom showing up at Pancakes. Right then. I also had far too much fun making up the conversation three bike messengers were having as they congregated near our Starbucks table. Slackers! She got me some great gifts too, so definite win there. Yay, giftsies. Yes, I am eight inside.

Meanwhile, can't stop yawning. Bah. Struggling along with NaNo, stupid set-ups. Grumps.

Music: All these things I have done - The Killers
Mood: Rushed

A dream might help you cope

I was just sipping on something sweet
I don't need political process

I got this feeling that they're gonna break down the door
I got this feeling they they're gonna come back for more
See I was thinking that I lost my mind
But it's been getting to me all this time
And it don't stop dragging me down

Silently reflection turns my world to stone
Patiently correction leaves us all alone
And sometimes I'm a travel man
But tonight this engine's failing

Music: Tranquilize - The Killers feat Lou Reed
Mood: Stressed

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toasty warm

It's been a blistering summers day today, fluctuating between 35 and 40 across the city with a hot wind to round it off. I spent a total of 80 minutes on trains in this weather and I can assure you it was not much fun. I donned my bikini the minute I got home and lazed on the deck with sunscreen and iced tea. It lasted all of 45 minutes before I took refuge inside and watched Top Gear instead. There is something addictive about that show, I don't know what it is. I am convinced I can put up a decent lap time in my car though, you should see the way it takes corners. It's brilliant! I have these amazing racing tyres on it with...well I forget the name but as the rubber heats up it actually sticks to the road, so they've got fantastic grip. I know because I throw poor Jack around corners like some sort of possessed person. Slowing down is for people who don't have amazing tires.

Anyway, back on point. I was on aforementioned trains to meet Mandy for our final meeting. I have to say it's been an absolute honour to work with someone who is not only so distinguished, but who also understands the way I work perfectly. I could not have had a better supervisor for my honours project and I hope that our paths cross again in future. Like tomorrow night where I may be attending a reading at the Loft. I'm kind of going to miss this whole editing process, strange as that is. We talked a bit about publication and how to go about it, who'd be most likely to go for my stuff etc, that's definitely my next step. I need to be more pro-active. I write and I write and then it never leaves my hard-drive. This is the life I want, I have to go after it.

I've looked up a few places and gotten a few addresses so that is definitely going to be the main aim for the future. I also realised the UTS Anthology submissions close on 20 November, and I really think I should submit something. So let us just pause and reflect on everything I want to do this month:

- Submit thesis
- Write story for anthology
- NaNoWriMo
- Reel fic challenge

Why am I INSANE?

On another note, I really want to see The Sarah Jane Adventures with Ten in them. It's Ten people! If someone could hook me up, I'd really appreciate it. As far as I know, we don't get it here anymore. It used to be on Nickelodeon but I don't think it lasted very long.

Also, as it turns out, reading stuff about COE still makes me want to kill someone. Who knew? I have been putting off reading my last batch of Torchwood books cause I know that will be it and that's just too depressing to contemplate.

Right, back to the abyss of writing and editing!

Music: Top Gear
Mood: Hot

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blood red sky on the morning tide

Best comment of the day goes to Em: "I watched one and a half episodes of doctor who today, I can totally see why you love it so much." Another potential convert! Huzzah! I sense another marathon in my future, excellent. That never gets old.

Work today was absolutely manic. The fees and codes all changed so I had to update all our files and docs. On top of normal surgery and being interrupted every two seconds by the phone, it was quite headache inducing. I've counterbalanced it with a dinner with the parents and more of that lovely, lovely wine.

Tomorrow, more chaos at work, then meeting with Mandy.

Now I suppose I should try to do some writing...

Music: Big Bang Theory
Mood: Tired

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Burning through the sky

I should be sleeping. Why is this such a foreign concept to me?

I'm woefully behind on NaNoWriMo already, I've just written little over a 1,000 words to ease the guilt of not doing anything during the day. I shall find time for it sooner, I will. I had other things on my mind today. Like the lovely Roze, Em and the latter's other half (as he doesn't believe in twitter or blogging or anything really net-esque I shall refrain from dragging him into the madness even in name haha) dropping by. I took the opportunity to make a proper dinner which is something I've always wanted to do, so it was a full three courses. Well, ok I didn't actually make the dessert, but don't bore me with details! Mum had to supervise the sauce making as well, since I wasn't quite confident I wouldn't muck it up, but in the end I think it went alright. I also used the opportunity to crack open a loooovely bottle of red wine, seriously it's the best red wine I have ever had, it's just perfection. It's from Noon wineries, and it is really just that good.

The entertainment of the evening came in the form of Wii Trivial Pursuit. Oh, the chaos, mayhem and destruction. Roze and I were at our distracting bests, and were both marked as untrustworthy. I'm sorry, we really did think Paul Newman was in Spartacus! Anyhow, it was quite hilarious. Em won, we were all overjoyed. It felt like hours had passed in the face of Sport & Leisure and Science & Nature questions. Ah, good times.

In six hours I'll have to drag myself out of bed and struggle through a full day's work. Good luck to all those with essays due in...oh I don't know, eight hours or so...and to those with upcoming exams! You poor suckers.

Music: Don't stop me now - Queen
Mood: Slight headache...I'm not blaming the wine!