Saturday, January 31, 2009

the fat cat sat on the new mat

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 29

Normal programming for Wendy's Week of TV will resume "after the tennis" (a phrase incidentally which Wendy will be happy never to hear again after Sunday's dream Federer v Nadal men's final).

This week,however Wendy's Week of TV has defaulted in lieu of her tennis watching obsession which included being swept up in the Jelena Dokic dream return and re-establishment as an "Australian Tennis Player". Isn't it wonderful how we embrace sportspeople when they're winning but could care less about them when they aren't. Seriously, Australia is fantastic like that, what with it's one-eyed, jingoistic nationalistic, patriotic bias when it comes to sport. Lleyton who?

Wendy also spent much of the week wondering why Nadal has ditched the long shorts and sleeveless tops which were previously his signature "look". She had an actual conversation about why tennis dresses were made of synthetic material when surely cotton would be much cooler. (But then she remembered George's disastrous attempt to institute new uniforms along the same lines for the Yankees in Seinfeld).

She also marvelled at everyone in Melbourne's ability to run around in the stinking heat for such long periods. Use the roof people!! Finally some sense prevailed later in the week.

But what she enjoyed most was Channel 7's shameless use of its tennis coverage to promote it's new year line up of what are apparently the most fantastic television programs you have ever seen in your television viewing life. Who's idea was it to put the names on tennis balls? Genius. No, really, I mean it.

Here's a list of programs Wendy won't be watching.

Desperate Housewives - you've had you're day ladies. It was a good run. And ripping off Ugly Betty by giving the short housewife ( I forget her name) fat, ugly children isn't a good look.

All Saints - "like you've never seen it before". Well actually I did watch quite a lot of Police Rescue with Sonia Todd and Gary Sweet, so I don't feel the need to watch it again but with John Waters instead of Gary.

Triple Zero Heroes - at least I think is a Channel 7 show. Sure the title rhymes but that's about as far as my interest goes.

Grey's Anatomy - Never watched it. Well that's a lie...I watched it a couple of times. Just annoyed me. Stop moping around Meredith, cut your fringe and get on with your medical work.

City Homicide - or whatever that show is with Nadine Garner and Daniel McPherson. I liked NYPD Blue, The Bill (in it's heyday), even Blue Heelers was watchable at some points. And Noni Hazlehurst is a class act, but I do not feel drawn to this program at all. Don't we have enough gritty police dramas already. Although thumbs up for Australian production I guess.

Packed to the Rafters - Well points for using Pat Rafter's name in the title. But it all looks just a bit too jolly and heart-warming for me. Even the promos are fingernails down the blackboard material. Perhaps I shouldn't judge before I've given it a chance. But it looks like they've blended Seachange, Always Greener with just a tinge of Neighbours and hoped for the best. If there is nothing else remotely watchable on any other channel maybe I'll try it out.

Sunday Night: I'm guessing this is going to screen on Sunday nights? No? What an imaginative title.

Shows I might be watching:
RSPCA animal rescue: Because puppies and kittens are cute.

an impromptu visit to the antique shop

I think I might be a compulsive shopper. Or perhaps an impulsive shopper. That sounds nicer doesn't it? Take me to any shop and I can find something I want to buy. This morning apart from buying groceries (boring) I have also bought the following.
1. Four songs on iTunes. I had 8 dollars sitting there in credits so bought Frank Black songs from Teenager of the Year, an album I don't own. As well as yesterday's you tubed/blogged "Headache", I got "The Vanishing Spies", "Speedy Marie" and "Sir Rockabye". That man can sure write a pop song. I now have $1:50 left in credit which is frustrating. It also seems that I am living in 1994 because these songs still sound contemporary to me. Although in 1994 I couldn't have downloaded anything from iTunes.

2. A jasmine candle and candle holder. Because I don't have enough candles already.

3. A mat for my bedroom. One of those rag, woven, multicoloured things. I thought 10 dollars was a bargain.

4. And then the antique shop visit. It's having a closing down sale sadly, with big signs outside that say 70% off, make an offer etc. So I bought these great wall plaque plate things. One was 10 dollars and one was 5 dollars.

The smaller one is of The Rows, Chester and is handpainted. The second one is of the Tower of London and says it was produced in Bristol. I'm guessing it was handpainted as well. Now just to find a place for them on a wall somewhere. If only The Antiques Roadshow would come to Bundaberg and I could be the person with the shocked expression being told their object is worth thousands. I somehow doubt that will ever happen.

5. And then I also overpaid for an old bound version of Mill on the Floss. They had 25 dollars on it! I paid 15. It does have a nice inside cover of which here is a blurry photo.

I just need to stop going into shops of any kind.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Three things

I love getting stuff in the know the actual letterbox. It's especially exciting when the parcel man arrives and toots his horn outside. And you get to run out and sign the clever electronic signing device.

Today was a big day. I got the bag I ordered after seeing the story in the Australian. I too, hate the fact that those woolies green bags are used as general tote bags. Sadly, I didn't have the clever idea to do something about it.

And I also got a letter from my sponsor child. She is too little to write so I got these hand prints instead.

And then, my mum was out shopping, saw doctor who dvds on special and got me two.

Can this day get any better? (apart from the aforementioned headache which at present is resisting the mighty forces of a single panadol).

Fun T-Shirt Friday: dragging my heels but still singing along

I hereby declared it Fun T-Shirt Friday at work today. Of course I was the only one who knew about it so I was the only one in a fun T shirt. In fact I might be the only one who actually owns any fun shirts. So I chose this delightful threadless number because, like poor 10 year old Mozart, I too was dragging my heels slightly. However, it did have the desired effect in making going to work just a little bit funner. (I know that's not a word, but it's Friday, so I'm not really caring).

I teamed the shirt with my black crumply skirt (bargain from Big W) and my red glittery thongs. I was quite the picture of sartorial bargain splendour.

I did however get a headache as the morning wore on, so perhaps I was having too much fun in my t-shirt. Is that even possible? So in honour of that here's a song about a headache just to brighten your day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I am not an alienista Thursday

"Today is Thursday, the 29th of January and the weather is sunny and breezy".

Every morning in Year 2 we used to file into the school Assembly Hall for morning Assembly. The only thing I can remember about this is that we used to all chant the above statement. Well not exactly that statement, but similar, with the appropriate date, and for some reason, a description of the weather. It was here that through one of the aged Year 2 teachers (who should have long since retired given that she was still dealing out corporal punishment) that I came across the word "muggy".

So remembering this, and in the absence of anything more interesting to post about I thought I would provide a update of my fascinating Thursday. The weather was indeed sunny and breezy. Although I didn't spend much time out in it. Rather I chose to go to work this morning and be cossetted by the air conditioning. The minute I got there the phone started ringing and I spent the next four hours answering inquiries from prospective students, interviewing applicants and returning other phone calls. At the same time I managed my way through the usual swag of pointless emails (i.e. white car in carpark outside building 32 has left its lights on. never mind that we don't have a building 37 in bundaberg and that this email is only appropriate for staff at the rockhampton campus. that's the kind of entertaining communications that fill up our inboxes). Thanks to the zillion dollars the university is currently spending on marketing its bridging programs we are getting so many calls we can barely get through them. It's a pity that money can't also be spent on staff and programs. Ooops...almost got a little bit politically critical there. ;)

Post lunch was work at home time. Finally I began what I hope is the final read through of my manuscript. Very small changes now and I am doing them as I go. After two hours of solid reading I was starting to drift and skim. So I stopped. Which was also convenient because it was time for the haircut. I like the hairdresser. It's cool and calm. They bring you iced water if you ask for it. I never want tea or coffee. They wash your hair and give you a head massage. And you can read trashy fashion magazines. Today I skimmed Madison and Harper's Bazaar. Apparently, Madison tells me, you should completely clean your fridge out once a fortnight. Who knew? And according to Harper's Bazaar it seems Angelina is still who we should be aspiring to be. I think she looks like an alien, but who am I to judge? Perhaps the look for 2009 is alien chic (like heroin chic but from outer space). Still, it's a nice place to go to and switch your brain off from the world of commas, grammar, paragraphing, formatting, double vs single quotation marks and the like.

Then I came home and had a cup of tea and a gingernut biscuit. Now, that is momentous I'm sure you'll agree. And then I went for a walk with my Mum. It was cool and the sun was setting, so the sky was a beautiful light orange, almost apricot.

So in summary, today was Thursday. I talked a lot on the phone, did a lot of reading (academic and otherwise) and made the decision to take a brave stand against becoming an alienista.

Oh...and always remember, gingernut biscuits and tea are good.
And muggy weather is bad.
Some things never change.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

new growth

To get my front fence built I had to get my gum tree lopped. It sat very quietly for two weeks and then suddenly in the last week there is new growth sprouting from everywhere. They're resilient those eucalypts.

"yumour people, I'm using yumour"

It's taken me a week but I have finally finished checking through all my references in the conversion of the intext format I used in the thesis to the APA style required by the publisher. I don't want to offend anyone but that American Psychologist Association sure loves their punctuation. Anywhere they can put in a comma, a full stop, throw in some square brackets or colons they go for their life. I think less is more. They seem to think more is more. It was a useful exercise in patience and perserverance, if at times, quite tedious. So my next task is to sit down and read the manuscript from start to finish. I have finally graduated from calling it a thesis to calling it a manuscript. I sometimes think of it as a book but don't know if I'm quite up for that full time yet.

I have also drafted a short preface to go before the Introduction, as a way of hopefully easing the reader into the work, before I hit them between the eyes with all the theory and analysis (as my contribution to cures for insomnia). But I'm concerned that the tone of the preface and the tone of the rest of the work are too different. But then, I change my mind about that 10 times a day and decide that maybe that's good. Different tones, you know. Like my writing is beautiful music made up of various tones. Either that or it's the ugly sounding twelve tone music, that everyone thinks is clever but no=one wants to actually listen to.

Then, as President Obama instructed us, I pick myself up and dust myself off and remind myself that probably very few people will read it anyway so who cares. (Well, actually I'm not sure he said that last bit, it was a whole week ago so I've forgotten most of what he said). That's when I'm feeling all up and positive.

(Yumour, people, I'm using yumour. Cyncial and sarcastic type yumour, but hey, you take what you can get.)

One for the KandK fans!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


No, no, no, no, no, sweetie, darling, darling, sweetie, darling, sweetie...darling

Can't they just stop doing these?

I know The Office seemed to translate quite well to the land of the free. But, after the Kath and Kim debacle I'm highly suspicious and believe enough is enough.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Isn't that a coat?

During some chit chat with my mother I noted how The Australian is reporting this morning that Barack Obama is going to be allowed to keep his Blackberry, in a jazzed up Secret Service, cyberintelligent gathering version of the device.

Mum: "Isn't that a coat?"

Me: That's Burberry"

This was nearly as good as last week when she was trying to tell me about someone's "opus moderandi". We (including her) all laughed a lot at that.

Wendy's tips for celebrating Australia Day...or not

It's Australia Day. The day where we are all supposed to paint our faces with yellow and green zinc cream and shout "oi,oi, oi".

How will I be "celebrating" Australia Day?

Here's a list of things I don't plan to do:

1. sing waltzing matilda
2. wear a hat with corks around it
3. boil a billy
4. make a beer damper
5. eat a beer damper
6. drape myself in the Australian flag
7. fly the Australian flag from my car and/or house
8. begin liking Shane Warne, Lleyton Hewitt or Andrew Symonds (yes people Andrew has joined the list)
9. eat lamingtons.
10. have a barbeque with lamb
11. have a barbeque with any other kind of meat (i.e. sausages, steak)
12. eat prawns or any other kind of seafood that people like to drool over (i.e. crab, bugs, lobster, etc).
13. sing the national anthem
14. play backyard cricket
15. play frontyard cricket
16. play any sport of any kind in either the front, back or side yards, or indeed at the beach
17. go to the beach.
18. wear board shorts, thongs, zinc cream of any colour, or one of those yellow and green sombreros
19. drink beer
20. say "strewth", "stone the flamin'crows", "how the bloody hell are ya" or any other Aussie phrases favoured by Alf on Home and Away. (btw is Alf still on Home and Away?)

Things I do plan to do on Australia Day
1. Wash the towels
2. Eat watermelon
3. Stuff about on the Internet
4. Watch the tennis
5. Have a nap
6. Continue working on my reference list
7. Put away all my washing - neatly.
8. Run the airconditioning
9. Continue reading the book on the Go-Betweens.
10. Go to choir tonight
11. Watch more episodes of 30 Rock
12. Continue reading biography of FDR
13. Listen to the parrots in the tree outside
14. Blog (hey I'm doing that now)
15. Talk to the cat (but not so much that I qualify as a crazy cat lady just yet)
16. Enjoy the rain
17. Complain about the humidity, and summer in general
18. Wear clothes that aren't yellow and green
19. Wear clothes that aren't marked, embellished or accessorised by the Australian flag
20. Drink water, coffee, tea and maybe splash out with Bundy brewed drinks Lemon, Lime and Bitter

Happy Australia Day. Let's celebrate the fact that we are all able to celebrate as we like. Or indeed, not celebrate it all if that is our preference.

(I think I've got enough things on my second list to avoid being carted off by the un-Australian police though...)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 8: Hello lamp post

This was one of my first ever favourite Simon and Garfunkel songs. Just right for a Sunday morning I think. Short and cute, with those always perfect harmonies.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the coffee fussbudget goes shopping

It was the usual Saturday morning shopping expedition today. Except for one vital difference. Indulge, best coffee ever experienced in Bundaberg was closed. They are having a week's holiday. So, seeing it was my parent's wedding anniversary we decided to try somewhere different for breakfast. (gasps of horror...I can hear you all from here!)

We went to Rosiblu which is a lovely deli type place that does very nice lunches and cakes. But the coffee (especially the decaf to which I am now relegated) is what you might describe as "not as good as Indulge". I mean it's definitely drinkable. You don't take a sip and splurt it all over your fellow diners or anything, but it's not a patch on the decaf at Indulge, which actually tastes like real coffee.

(You may be thinking I am a little bit of a fussbudget when it comes to coffee. You may be right. However, let's use the word connosieur shall we as it is less tinged with craziness)

So I gave my parents an anniversary gift. A boxed set of the first series of When the Boat Comes In, a British drama starring a very young James Bolam. They used to watch it when I was very little, (and have talked about a lot) and all I can remember about it is the theme song. Some of you may know it also:

"You shall have a fishy, in a little dishy, you shall have a fishy when the boat comes in. Dance to your daddy, dance to your mummy, dance to your daddy, when the boat comes in".

At least those are the words I remember (not sure about the "dance to your mummy) and have been humming ever since I was about 3 or 4. (Not constantly, you must understand. In the intervening 30 years I have, on the odd occasion, hummed other tunes). Anyway, I imagine it's a British folk song and if I could be bothered I would look it up, but I can't.

Then it was to Medicare WHERE I WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN LINE. Sorry for the shouty emphasis but it's the rare event where you don't have to wait in there. And then to the grocery shop. I went through the self serve again because you know, it is fun to scan your own items. However I decided that if you have more than ten items it's not worth it because every time I wanted to move a bag off the "bagging area" to make more room(let's get the terminology correct) the machine clearly thought I was going to run off without paying and called the attendant. I ended up with only about four bags, poorly packed and stuffed with items. And I think I needed help at least four times from the poor young girl on duty. She was starting to talk to me like I was an "problem customer" by the end. So it took some time. Still, I did get to sign the electronic signature thingy. That was fun.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 28

Tennis: I love watching the tennis. Next year I am going to get organised and take holidays for the two weeks of the Australian Open. Mind you, I say this every year and always forget. Mainly because by the time the year ends I'm so desperate for holidays I book them in too early. So, this week's tennis highlights have been restricted to late afternoons and evenings. It was exciting when the young Tomic fella won a match. But at 16 we could be pretty sure that wasn't going to last.

It was also exciting when Lleyton Hewitt lost in the first round. I have the same feelings about Lleyton as I do about Shane Warne. To put it nicely, he is not my favourite Ozzie tennis player. His eyes are scarily intense, I hate the fist pumping and the starting the lawnmower moves, and cannot stand the aggressive "C'mons!!!". I may be in the minority, but give me that lovely even-tempered Pat Rafter any day. Of the overseas players I have a soft spot for the crazy Russian Marat Safin and am very worried that now he and Federer are meeting in the third round. Because they are both my favourites. I have bad memories of staying up til past midnight a few years ago when Safin knocked Federer out (or should I say "bundled him out" whatever the heck that actually means) in a semi-final. It was devastating because I wanted so desperately for somehow the rules to be changed and for them both to win. I still do, and the match is on tonight. I will either stay up nervously biting my nails, or go to bed and pretend it's not happening, and just find out in the morning. I can't decide.

The women's tennis is less compelling (that's a polite way of saying dull), however I watched Jelena Dokic with interest, and was quite moved when she won in the second round on Wednesday night. Nutty tennis fathers need to be banned. Surely there should be some rule against family members also being coaches. Other than that, we'll just see who makes it into the second week. Oh, and a note on the commentators. PLEASE Channel 7 get rid of Jim Courier and pay whatever you need to, to bring John McEnroe back for the on court post match interviews. I don't care what it costs, I'll even chip in.

So with all that tennis a-happening there hasn't been much other TV watched this week. I did watch the Big Bang Theory again and it is growing on me. I'm enjoying its take on the petty politics of academia. And of course Father Ted and Hamish. But I think I've said enough about them on the blog previously.

I also caught the Pixies documentary Gouge on Sunday morning on ABC2. I was excited until I realised I had seen it before. Still, David Bowie had some intelligent things to say. And the songs remain vitally compelling after all these years. So it was a pleasant and nostalgic way to spend an hour.

I am getting excited about Doctor Who on the weekend, but am also living in fear and trepidation of another Andre Rieu marathon. Stupidly, we gave my grandmother Andre in Australia for Christmas. She wants to share. When we will ever learn? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And, I don't usually comment on television advertising, but if I get caught by surprise with the "there's nothing healthy about a tan" grotesque sight of the week once more I am going to scream. Actually scream. Out loud and everything. I grew up with Slip, Slop, Slap and understand very clearly about the need to be sun smart. I do not need to see scary pictures of black tumours growing under the skin to be reminded to stay out of the sun in summer. Surely today's impressionable young people would also be entranced by the lisping seagull/pelican/whatever type of bird that actually was. And if they're going for shock value shouldn't the model in the ad be old, wizened and wrinkly with lots of sun damage if this is the point they are trying to get across? Not young, in a bikini and with a light brown tan?

Really, in instances such as these we need to be able to mute sound and picture together.

Oh, I know, that's the off button. I must locate that on my remote.

but I'm not a prefectionist

I've just discovered this site thanks to Alison at vicarious conversations.

I'm telling myself in no uncertain terms that I don't need any more T-shirts, particularly ones that would label me as a "prefectionist".

all in a day's work

You know it's a special morning when you get in the car and the radio is playing the Theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I drove along triumphantly, with a sense of adventure tinged with nostalgia for days gone by when the difference between good and evil was clear for allto see, yet safe in the knowledge that I had saved the world from baddies once again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


For this photo to make sense you need to read the comments thread in the previous post.
(and yes I am watching the tennis)

Jumping up and down and shouting "YAY"

As you can see my blog has had a total makeover and I'm so excited. Thanks to the wonderful team at Catalyst Media here in Bundaberg, in particular, Trudy, Mandie and Bevan, my blog now looks like me.

I'll blog more about the design later. Right now I'm just jumping up and down and shouting "YAY".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

computers for the terrified

My mother was showing me her options for U3A classes.

One in particular took my eye: "Computers for the Terrified".

I imagine this would be a prerequesite for Computer Basics (also offered). However, it doesn't specify whether you must be terrified of computers, or whether terror of other objects, or even just a generalised terror is a requirement for attending.

(There's also "Accordion for beginners". Sadly I do not meet the minimum age requirement. Nor do I yet have an accordion).

Presidents, Television and Goosebumps

I'm not really one for getting up in the middle of the night, so I made the decision to trust in the repetitive impulse of television to be able to watch the Obama inauguration. Morning television did not let me down. The differences in the free to air coverages here in Australia were distinct. Not so much in terms of content, although the ABC2 coverage with a freezing Barrie Cassidy was notable in its worthiness in taking the whole thing as a serious political event. I didn't watch too much of this however, because unlike Sunrise and Today it didn't seem to be showing live pictures. Rather, there was a lot of Barrie standing on a Washington street corner interviewing other commentators. What I wanted was the live pictures, and the repeats of the speech which I found on Today.

Sunrise, a program to which I was once addicted and now refuse to watch, seemed to be tapping into the American broadcast every so often and then topping up with inane comment and discussion in the studio and with their so-called correspondents. Come on people, was that Larry Emdur hosting with Mel? Did he shout out "Come on down" when Obama first appeared. With their American flag studio background I couldn't stand to watch them for more than a few minutes at a time. So cloying and banal.

Today, surprisingly showed a slightly more respectful tone. Richard Wilkins was nowhere to be seen, so thumbs up for that. Karl and Robert Penfold were clearly some distance from the action freezing their behinds off in the great Washington outdoors. Still, they at least demonstrated a hint of understanding the politics of the situation, made some intelligent comments, while also realising that what we were really interested in was what Michelle Obama was wearing (a Cuban designer no less). However, they threw to Lisa in the studio for the fashion discussion, which was probably wise. There was also an interesting discussion as to whether the Obamas were wearing bullet proof vests during the parade (which was exactly what I was wondering as well) when they got out of the car and walked. I would have been.

It was fun to watch the twitchy agents, especially those who had to walk oh-so-slowly alongside the car. How thick are those doors? Answer: very! Would they really take a bullet for the President?

Anyway, I enjoyed the speech muchly. He said all the right things in his usual engaging way. Perhaps if we could have a speech like that broadcast once a week it would be good. let's hope he is able to follow up the rhetoric in reality. Time will tell. And the joke about swiping the pen was cute too.

Now, to the real business, when we will see what the new First Lady wears to the 10 inauguration balls?

Still none of it affected me in quite the same way as yesterday when I was watching some previews on the news when they played a clip of Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream speech". Suddenly, I was all goosebumps. This just goes to prove, that television images, even when they are old and fading, if they show an event that had enough force can still affect us in the present. Sometimes, it doesn't matter whether you watch it in real time, as a real event. If the event has enough force to ripple through time, it can still affect us today.
The test of time, will be if in looking back at Obama's inauguration speech in 40 years or so, we get goosebumps.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a din of parrots

What's the collective noun for a bunch of parrots?

I have decided it's "a din"

As in "the din of parrots outside in my tree are making it difficult for me to concentrate".

Because, you know, like, they're also making a great din. So it's got, like, you know, double meaning, which is like, you know, all cool and, you know, whatever....

This is the level of articulate writing and thinking the parrots are reducing me to.

(Not really. I'm just looking for a reason not to start looking at the APA manual)

Wikipedia suggests otherwise....prattle, pandemonium and company...all referring to parrots. But it also says "citation needed" I'm offering up "din" as an alternative for those of us who don't like alliteration, or who object to discourses of marketing and business infiltrating every sector of modern life, including now it seems collective nouns referring to parrots.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Squawking Sunday

Every January the corkwood tree outside my loungeroom flowers in a riot of purple and the birds arrive. They spend the day screeching, squawking and generally squabbling amongst themselves for the best pick of the flowers. It's wonderful just to sit and watch them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A mild case of domestic goddessness

I'm feeling extremely pious because I have just cleaned out the fridge. Not just thrown out the food that's past it (I do that very regularly most of the time), but actually pulled the crisper out and washed it, as well as wiping out the shelves. This is something that doesn't happen every day, or indeed every month, or probably even every six months.

Things I found that are now in the bin:
Half used jar of pasta sauce that had found a hiding place behind a bottle of wine...age I can't remember...therefore the rule is automatically bin
Yellowing broccoli - not even a week old so slightly annoying
Tomatoes in various states of overripeness
Bendy carrots - Carrots just don't last as long as they used to I find.
Tinned pineapple in a plastic container that had been pushed to recesses of the shelf by some jars of jam....age I can't remember...automatically binned
Watermelon that had gone too watery. Even though I had cut it into pieces as soon as I got it home a few days ago and put it in a container. I understand that's what domestic goddesses do. My usual practice has been to just hack slices off the piece of watermelon and keep putting it back in the fridge until only the skin is left. That works as well.
Some feta cheese in a plastic bag. There's no mucking around with cheese...bin.
Slices of plum pudding in a tupperware. It's way too far past Christmas for me, (the pernickety use by date person), to even be contemplating plum pudding.

All this kitchen activity.
I'm not sure what came over me.

Next thing you know I'll be cleaning out cupboards or somesuch.

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 27

Monday: The Big Bang Theory
I had briefly caught this summer filler a couple of weeks ago and thought I would give it a full half hour of my attention. I'm just not sure if I'm comfortable with the basic premise that science postgraduates and researchers are innately comic because they are written as stereotypical nerds. On the other hand I did find myself laughing quite a number of times. So all in all, not quite sure what to make of it. I did like the Roseanne reunion of Sara Gilbert and Johnny Galecki. Although, on the other hand, they are almost playing the exactly same characters they did in Roseanne. She, the independent, slightly emasculating, wise cracking girl, he the weak willed slightly geeky and easily bossed around boy. So the verdict, not must see TV, but much better than the crudity of Two and Half Men that that show seems to think passes as comedy. Note to sitcom writers: Sometimes crudity is just crude. It's not always funny as a matter of course.

Tuesday: Father Ted..well duh!

Hamish Macbeth: A slight return to form after last week's very boring episode where Hamish was seemed to be on holiday at a gloomy BandB with a mystery attached. This week there were some arsons in Lochdubh, as well as tension between Esme and Rory, and the return of Isobel to cover the shutting of the local school due to one of the fires. Much more satisfying.

Wednesday:My Family. Tecnhically I didn't watch it but listened to it while I was on the computer. It didn't sound funny.

Thursday: Some of Ugly Betty. The first series of Ugly Betty was one of my favourite things. Watching it tonight it has become repetitive and just a teensy eeensy bit dull. Perhaps there is a limit to the amount of storylines they can stretch out of a Betty's so-called "ugliness", together with Wilhemina Slater's desire to become Editor in Chief of Mode and her associated crazy antics. America Ferrera still does a stand out job acting the title role, and the combination of camp comedy with melodrama is still watchable, but like the later series of Will and Grace really I think this is one series that has run its race. The glossy novelty has worn off for me at least.

Friday: One Day Cricket Australia vs South Africa. Two reasons to love this.
1. It was a day night match so I could watch the second half after work
2. It was an actual nail biter, going right down to the wire in the spirit of the one day matches of yore when Joel Garner would be steaming in and Viv Richards would be biting his nails and chewing gum.
3. Australia lost
Well that's three reasons actually. I never said I was a mathematician.

Two reasons to dislike it though are:
1. The neverending self promotion of Channel Nine of it's 2009 schedule. Hearing Tony Grieg read out the blurb for Underbelly was wonderfully funny. Was it just me or did he sound sarcastically over enthusiastic?
2. The Johnny Walker trivia where now they have recorded a player asking the question. Unnecessary. Just let the commentators do it and have a little chit chat among themselves.
3. Both teams are wearing green which seems a little short sighted...especially for the short sighted if you come in half way through. Why is Australia not wearing the yellow pyjamas?

Darn it...that's three again.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 7 All the leaves are brown

Because it's Friday, I was going to watch listen and singalong Friday I'm in Love by the Cure. But "embedding is disabled by request" on that one so you'll have to go looking for it by yourself if you feel so inclined. I do believe though that songs with specific days in their titles should be listened to on those days. So The Cure, miss out on being part of my very special Spiralling Shape series. I'm sure they're devastated.

Enough of the sarcasm.

Instead, here is one of my favourite ever songs, first encountered in my parents' record collection and loved ever since. I never get sick of it. The flute solo is perhaps a little dodgy and dated now. But at least it's not a saxophone - my least favourite of all the woodwind instruments.

What's fantastic here is the atmosphere of the song, the timbre, it really sounds autumnal and wintery. Perhaps it's to do with the key, the quality of their voices, the lyrics. The whole thing really. Plus, you can sing along with either part of the call and response type structure. Or if you're like me you try to join in with both...which results in cutting off the end of line in the crossover. And sounds strange. Luckily I'm usually in the car so there is rarely anyone to witness this mangled version. (I restrain myself to dulled humming if there are passengers). what's even better if you have more than one person who likes to do the same and you can split up the harmony. Because, talented as I am (on no more sarcasm now directed at myself) I cannot do that clever throat singing where they sing two notes at once, one as an overtone. I think it's Mongolian but I can't quite remember.

Anyway, enjoy!

Oh, and I nearly forgot...tambourines are cool no matter what anyone tells you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

going to the library in your pjs

A momentous event occurred late this afternoon. I became a card carrying member of the Bundaberg Regional Library. This is the local council library. Apparently now, with last year's council mergers I can also borrow books from Gin Gin, Childers and Woodgate if I'm every out that way. Exciting.

Why momentous I hear you ask? (and even if you're not asking I'm answering anyhow). Because since moving back to Bundaberg eight years ago I have resisted rejoining the library. It was a illogical and irrational dislike of the library, probably because it was no longer the library experience I remembered as a child growing up here in Bundaberg.

You see the library is now flash and new (well about ten years old maybe more - not sure) with lots of computers and internets, and a special room for microfiche, and a huge kids section, books on tape, cds, dvds, large print, large non-fiction section and all the latest fiction. It has electronic doors and those beepy things that go off in great alarm if you try and sneak a book out. In other words, it is a contemporary well funded library.

When I was a child the library was located in a beautiful old bank building on Quay Street (yes near the river). (It's now the regional art gallery and painted a putrid shade of yellow). Back then it was traditional white. It was darkish and gloomy inside, and the books were all crammed in to a very small space. But there was a great kids section as well as a lot of non-fiction where I borrowed a great many books for ancient history assignments during high school. When my brother and I were very small the library opened late on a Thursday night. Sometimes for a great treat, after dinner and IN OUR PYJAMAS our parents would take us to the library to borrow some books. There seemed nothing strange about this. I seem to remember other children in dressing gowns but I might be imagining things. We would race up the ramp, past the eerie rock fountain which lit up at night, and spend a lot of time browsing the shelves. There were no scanners, just a team of ladies with a date stamp. I think the library cards were made of cardboard initially and then moved to plastic laminated with a barcode. But they were nothing like the plastic card that was expertly and efficiently dispensed to me this afternoon with its fancy barcode and identification number.

This new library is not the Bundaberg library of my childhood. But it does have a huge stock of dvds that can borrowed for free. So I relented and signed on the dotted line.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

a little tip from me to myself

Here's an important lesson that I learnt today that I'm sure I will find extremely useful in the future.

When you spend the morning working from home and then prepare to go into the office for the afternoon, make sure you take the work you have completed with you. Do not very carefully pack your bag and put your folder of work together and then run out the house leaving the folder on the table. It's doing no-one any good sitting there.

A little tip from me to myself.

What was I thinking?


"As the section following this one outlines..."

Or this:

"As the following section outlines...."

What was I thinking? Or not thinking?

Awkward turns of phrase everywhere.

Monday, January 12, 2009

reasons why I am not a domestic goddess, or, muffin cooking Monday

An occasional series combined with "days of the week".

Cooking orange and poppyseed muffins. Out of a packet. Just add water.

I don't think Nigella would approve.

Not only was there no added chocolate, butter, cream or lard, but there was also no pouting in a disturbing fashion to the camera crew in the kitchen, or batting of eyelashes while my mildly curled brown tresses fell alluringly over my face.

Come to think of it, there was no camera crew in the kitchen.

Or mildly curled brown tresses and batting of eyelashes.

Just me, the packet mix and a pink measuring cup of water. And the blue muffin cases in the muffin pan.

Plus, I'm not exactly sure what lard is, or whether one would ever include it in an orange and poppyseed muffin recipe, packet or otherwise.

the fence man is coming

I'm so excited. The fence man has just called to say he is coming on Thursday to start my front fences. At the moment my front yard has been cleared of trees except one in preparation. This means the minute I step out the front door I'm on show for whole street to see, which I hate. This, plus the fact that my house is on an unusual angle to my neighbour's, makes life in the front yard all very exposed. However, soon there will be a six foot fence on that side. I will be able to walk out to get the paper in my dressing gown with complete confidence (and a little bit more privacy). How wonderful.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Look don't rock

I'm tremendously excited to take temporary possession of this family rocking chair. It belonged to my great grandmother on my mother's father's side of the family. She died the year I was born so I have never knew her. This was one of the few items my mother salvaged when the family sold off the house and its contents. I grew up with it as a very special of furniture in all the houses we have lived in. I was always fascinated by the curve and spiral of its bentwood style legs. How did they get wood to do that? It was rarely for sitting in even when I was growing up. In later years I used to have lots of trouble keeping my little piano students out of it as it was in the same room as the piano. Because as we all know rocking chairs look like such fun, so they just wanted to climb right up and rock wildly. I'm afraid with its age this would be the end of the chair now. So with my parents moving into their new house recently and with no place to put it,lucky me, I get to "mind" it for them.

But on the strict understanding, that it is not for sitting in.

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 26

Tuesday: you guessed it... Father Ted...hurrah. Lent combined with the nuns' helpline to assist Ted, Dougal and Jack give up their respective vices made for yet some more fabulous laughs.

Wednesday: The New Adventures of Old Christine
What's wonderful about summer TV is that sometimes, suddenly and most unexpectedly a show will appear, and then just as quickly it's pulled from the schedule. This Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle is subject to this treatment this week. Up against My Family on the ABC, I thought I'd give it another try (given that My Family hasn't been funny for many a series; really since Nick left). It does have possibly one of the worst titles in television history. Plus, it's really not that well written and a waste of Dreyfus's talents. I believe she won an Emmy for this part. i'm not sure why. It's also "old sitcom style" which, while nice for a bit of nostalgia is a little bit past it. The studio set, the staircase out of the loungeroom (admittedly not as big as Cosby or Full they were sitcom sets, with stunning staircases!), the laugh track sounding audience, the stereotyping of gender roles etc etc. Still, its brightly coloured, moves along in a fairly predictable way. There are worse ways to spend half an hour (Two and a Half Men I'm looking at you. At least the kid in Christine is actual kid-sized).

Thursday: In the absence of anything remotely interesting (to me anyway) I watched a Rebus episode on DVD with my mum. We both spent the bulk of the time asking each other in a puzzled fashion "that was wasn't in the book was it?". Having both read all the Rebus novels I do have a tendency to get them muddled up in my head plot wise. But this one was nothing at all like the Black Book. I have been searching for it on my bookshelves but it must be at mum's. (we share ownership). Ken Stott looks the part (more so than John Hannah whose episodes I haven't managed to see) but it was a mildly dissatisfying viewing experience. Still, we will try the other episode Strip Jack to see if it improves.

Friday: Yes Strip Jack was slightly improved. More Rebus DVD watching. Still, I don't remember any of the plot so I'm thinking they made it up.

Saturday: Mary Poppins. Okay everyone, mock me if you will, but try to stop laughing! When I was young my mum owned the soundtrack on LP, I knew all the words to all the songs even before seeing the film when videos finally arrived on the scene. Looking back the Jolly Holiday sequence with the dancing penguins and merry go round horse fox hunt if FAR too long (by today's movie watching standards). And of course Dick Van Dyke is totally miscast with his indefinable accent. But the children are cute, the parents are lovely and it serves as a reminder of just what a beautiful singing voice Julie Andrews had in her day. I didn't make it through the whole three hours (thank you commercial television for advertising) so I missed my favourite, "Let's go fly a kite". But I did get to see Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (think I may have spelled that wrongly). And Feed the Birds which is a beautiful song. If you like musicals. Which I do. Hah!

And then, just to lighten to the mood, another Rebus. This time, A Question of Blood in which they stuck vaguely to the plot of a shooting in a boy's school. But still....they just haven't been able to flesh out the nuances of Rankin's character, with his specific tastes and love of music, and his complicated family and personal life. This is what makes the novels for me, not just a crumpled old detective in a black linen suit. Surely, that's not very warm in Edinburghs cold climate. Everyone else seems to be wearing an overcoat. Details? Not sure why the costume designers settled on that either. It was watchable, more so than Black Book anyway. Also watched some of the behind the scenes where Ian Rankin admitted that he doesn't watch the television adaptations. I can see why. He might start crying and never stop.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Seinfeld Series 2 Episode 4: "Why can't I meet a Kennedy?"

The Baby Shower
Standup: Some stereotyping from Jerry on how men and women use the remote control. This returns in a later episode( 'men hunt and women nest") when Jerry gets heckled during a gig.

Anyway, this episode written by Larry Charles includes more of the darker overtones of some of these early episodes
In the diner with Jerry, George and Elaine. George's disastrous date with a performance artist a few years ago is the topic of discussion. The date with Leslie was a set up from Elaine. It wasn't a success.
Jerry is remembering: "And she's on stage cooking dinner for some celebrity'
George: "God, she's cooking dinner for God".
What most peeves George is that his shirt was ruined when she Leslie threw chocolate on it, supposedly as part of the performance. Significant.

George has a few nice lines here regarding his ruined shirt: "I still have it, the collar's okay, I wear it under sweaters"...and his grudge against the performance artist is clearly on show: "Let Maria Shriver give her a baby shower". Cute, how this is still topical after so many years, not always the case with TV pop culture references.

For Leslie has asked Elaine to throw her a baby shower. The story is that Elaine needs Jerry's apartment for the shower because her roomate has lyme disease.
George (still wallowing in his rejection from Leslie) ; Some day before I die, I'm going to tell that woman what I think of her. I'll never be able to forgive myself until I do"
Jerry: And if you do?
George: Well I still won't be able to forgive myself, but at least it won't be about this"

The apartment: Kramer is berating Jerry for his bad TV reception, encouraging him to get illegal cable. Kramer is most disparaging, berating and shouting at Jerry for his principles which are denying him a wonderful world of television viewing.
Jerry: What you're suggesting is illegal
Kramer:It's not illegal
Jerry: It's against the law
Kramer: well yeah...

Kramer has a Russian emigrant ready and waiting in his own apartment to hook up the cable. His final, wildly convincing argument is "It's the 90s's Hammer time!". Yes indeed, the 90s were hammer time with those big baggy pants. Kramer does a cute little hammer dance as he exits to get the Russians.
Jerry is finally convinced. Tomorrow the cable is going to be installed. Surely, no problems here. But what about the baby shower?

The apartment: Jerry returns from out of town. The FBI are waiting for him. And here is the best scene in the episode where we transition to fantasy as Jerry tries to run away from the agents who have hunted him down for his illegal cable and they shoot him in a hail of gunfire. Suddenly it's a scene from Die Hard. As the bullets cease, Kramer runs across the apartment to cradle the dying Jerry in his arms. "Cable boy, cable boy, what have you done to my little cable boy". Jerry wakes from his nightmare on the plane flying to his gig out of town. They're turning the plane around due to a blizzard.

In the car: George is giving Jerry a lift home from the airport. Notice the red shirt under the sweater everyone. Jerry is on to the ulterior motive pretty quickly. Jerry suggests going back to George's, George wants to drop off jerry's bag at his place first, where Elaine is having the shower.
Jerry: Red shirt, red shirt!
George: It's payback time!

The apartment: In a complete turnaround, Elaine is fawning over Leslie and her connection to the Kennedys. And then disaster, Kramer arrives with his Russian cable guys.
Elaine: Who is this guy
Kramer: oh, they're Soviet cable guys....

Like it's the most natural thing in the world to bring some Russians into a party to hook up some illegal cable.

In the car: Jerry and George are rehearsaing George's payback speech. By the end of it George is wild with rage and vitriol and ready for a fight.

Back upstairs: Kramer has installed himself in the party and his chatting up one of the guests: 'I eat the whole apple, core, stem, seeds...ever eat the bark off of a pineapple?"

The cable guys are causing a mild ruckus in the midst of the party. George is psyching himself up for his big moment. Elaine tells him off. He feigns innocence. The red shirt is revealed, chocolate stains galore. And then George approaches Leslie and dissolves into a meek and mild suck up. Meanwhile Jerry is stood up in front of everyone by an old date in a lovely display of public vengeance. Everyone is either bemused or amused. And George ends up with more mess on his shirt when Leslie accidently drops her cake on him.

By now, Jerry has decided against the illegal cable. that's going to cost him 400 dollars to get it uninstalled.
The shower has been a failure. George leaves, following Leslie,now carrying all her baby shower presents.

The apartment: The Soviets have broken the TV because Jerry refused to pay. Elaine is despondent; "Why can't I meet a Kennedy?". The mention of JFKjunior dates the episode rather here. It's been a bad night all round for everyone except Kramer.

He's going to watch Dr Zhivago on cable and make popcorn.

Why i am not a domestic goddess

I'm pretty sure domestic goddesses do not:
1. wash a load of towels
2. put said load of towels in the dryer
3. forget about previously mentioned load of towels for say three of four days
4. suddenly remember towels are in the dryer (in the middle of Saturday morning shopping)
5. get home, open dryer, realise that didn't put it on for long enough so aforementioned load of towels are still damp, and now have that fuggy, wet dog smell that towels get when they aren't properly dry and have been sitting, wet and pathetically neglected in the dryer for three of four days (could be five, I can't actually remember)
6. start all over again with the towel washing and drying routine.

Friday, January 9, 2009

"all our operators are busy at the moment"

In spite of my very best efforts to procrastinate again today (coffee, morning tea, lunch,twitter, facebook, listening to the radio), there has been some progress in the "writing of the book from the thesis department". (note: this is not a real government department, however it does exist for real in my mind. is frequently unattended, with a long wait if you call, and poor service when you finally get through. Hmmm...perhaps it is a government department...or Telstra).

However....I have got into the conclusion, slashed and burned the VERY BORING AND UNNNECESSARILY LONG chapter summaries (why did I not take notice of my supervisors when I was writing this the first time round? Answer: because they were very nice and "left it up to me")and started writing some new stuff bringing it up to date with discussion of more recent programs. I am sticking to my plan of focusing on We Can Be Heroes and Summer heights high with the intention of name-dropping in other programs as relevant. So far so good. There is progress to take into the weekend and continue with over the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

when is procrastinating not procrastinating?

Answer: when you're doing something vaguely connected to the task you had actually planned to do for the day.

Today, as you might see from my twitter update was to be "return to book day". And I did do this for some time, looking back through the introduction. It's okay at the moment. The conclusion is the area that needs my undivided and uninterrupted attention. This does not seem possible at work. The phone rings, prospective students return my call, I spend time doing my interview, the email tings with something inconsequential, people walk in wanting things to do with my actual job they are paying me for. Inconsiderate ;)

Anyway, then I realised I had left the book usb at home so the conclusion would have wait until tomorrow, because I don't have the current copy saved here and I'm not about to double up.

So, what's a girl to do who has blocked out the whole day for "Research" on her outlook calendar. I thought, I'll have a read of the Arrested Development paper that got the kindly rejection. I did write it way back in September and hadn't looked at it since. And here was the key, I didn't pick up my pencil once to make a change of word, phrase, sentence structure, paragraph order...nothing. I read it and liked it. So, rather than putting it on the backburner and returning to twiddle with it in a few months, I submitted it to another journal as is. It may as well be being read by someone else, rather than sitting in the darkness of my filing cabinet. And even if all it comes back with is more feedback then that can't be a bad thing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Oh-Oh and you're Mary Tyler Moore"

Inevitable really, after yesterday's resurrection of memories of mid 1990s geek rock that I would feed my growing Youtube addiction searching for Weezer. This song and video (directed by Spike Jonze) for Buddy Holly is one of my favourite things.

Click on the link and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Watch, Listen and Singalong: Part 6 Rocking out on Recovery

What ever happened to Recovery? Weren't the original hosts Andrew Daddo and Alex Papps. I loved watching the Henderson Kids when I was in Grade 9. Wonder what those two are up to these days? When did music videos stop holding any interest for me at all? Was it 25, 28, 32? Truly, I can't remember. Once Rage was the highlight of my weekend. Now I wouldn't have a clue what's in the music charts. Should I be listening to The Cat Empire? Is Augie March a person or a group? Just who is Gabriella Climi? Why is Vanessa Amorosi trying to make a comeback? Who are the contemporary equivalents of Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer and New Kids on the Block? Why did REM and U2 start making crap repetitive albums when they got mega-famous? Are they too busy chatting to the Popes and Presidents, making futile political gestures, and going bald in a groovy way?

So many questions,many of them stupid. Forgive me, I'm back at work. Just ignore them all and enjoy TMBG rocking out on Recovery some years ago. Would we call this "geek rock"? Have I invented a term? Probably not, there is Weezer after all. I used to love that song about the sweater with the dogs in the clip. In fact I think I own the album. In fact, I think I once owned a Weezer Tshirt. That's embarrassing. distracted there. Whatever.

Anyway...Your mission if you choose to accept it here is to appreciate the intensity of Linnell's singing like his throat will explode, and the fact that Flansburgh can look a little bit like an accountant on holidays while ripping apart his guitar strings. (No offence to accountants).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a little stack of books

The lovely Kate (my brother's fiance) brought me a little stack of books to try.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Go-Betweens by David Nichols
Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisenberger
Willie's Bar and Grill by Rob Hirst
Theft by Peter Carey

In return I loaned her
Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler
The Jane Austen Book Club by (i forget)

I don't know who got the better end of this deal. We each have eclectic tastes and seem to like the opposite things. I have never managed to finish a Peter Carey book in my life (not for want of trying, even though there are a number on my shelves). I also couldn't make it to the end of The Devil Wears Prada (same author of the Weisenberger) whereas Kate thought it was great. But, she has more of an insight into the fashion/beauty industry than I do (having worked it and continuing to do so). Middlesex has the stamp of approval from Oprah's Book Club. I don't know if that is quite the stamp of approval it used to be when Oprah first started bookclubbing. However, I shall not judge the book by its stamp and will give it a try.

She also returned my copy of The Bell Jar. I was glad to see it again, even though I don't feel the need to read it anymore.

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 25

It's been a strange old week of TV, given that I haven't watched much of it yet again. But here were the highlights.

The Cricket: I settled in for the absorbing contest of the Boxing Day Test. I'm slightly worried that one day I will be branded as un-Australian, because I actually like to see Australia lose. I believe it's good for them to experience failure and they've been on top for so long, it's satisfying to see the underdogs rise up and beat their little socks off. Sad that Ponting got out for 99. (Unlike the time some years ago when Shane Warne got out for 99...i laughed out loud for some time and still get a warm fuzzy feeling of joy when I think of it). You may have realised I have a irrational dislike of Shane Warne. I notice he no longer has the duck's bum hairdo. Has Channel Nine insisted he comb it down so we might be tricked into taking him seriously as a commentator? I am feeling sorry for Brett Lee and his injured foot, less so for Andrew Symonds....why they are persisting with him in the team I am unsure.

Anyway, for those of you who are now freaked out at my like of watching cricket, apologies. But in my opinion it's one of the perfect live television experiences, characterised by what I would describe as "the lure of the unexpected". You can sit all day with nothing happening as the images flow by, just the gentle repetitive flow of bowling and batting and then suddenly, someone hits of a six, or takes a wicket, or drops a catch. It's the spontaneity that's inherent to the live television experience (and which is missing from so much other programming, or is artificially constructed into them) that remains in cricket broadcasting (and I guess sport more generally).

Tuesday: Father Ted...obviously. I think have said enough about my adoration of Father Ted in recent weeks.

Hamish Macbeth: Again,repetitive, but a more comic episode than in previous weeks which was good.

Wednesday: New Year's Eve. I don't like New year's Eve and never really have. What is the fascination with fireworks year after year? I can't comprehend it. That being said, I don't mind lighting a sparkler and holding "actual fire" in my hand, but these overblown fireworks spectaculars affect me the same way as Rock Eisteddfods. Uggh.
So I watched the Edinburgh Military Tattoo like an old granny, and went to bed very happily at 10:30. A perfect New Year's Eve actually. (Except if you don't like bagpipes you may not have been so content).

All week: Pie in the Sky: Series one on DVD
I adore this show. Richard Griffiths is wonderful as Henry Crabbe, restaurant owner and part-time policeman. He takes his food seriously, in contrast to Maggie Steed as his long suffering accountant wife. The pies look gorgeous and while the detective plots are sometimes a little laboured and mystifying, it's really all about the food and following your dream. An optimistic little gem from the 1990s when police/detective shows didn't feel the need to turn deceased human bodies inside out on the TV screen and pick through them with tweezers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

if it's Friday this must be Bundaberg?

I always think the time between Christmas and New Year is a little weird. Particularly because I tend to lose track of what day it is. For instance, knowing full well today is Friday, but waking up thinking it should be Monday, because yesterday (being a public holiday) felt like Sunday (when really it was Thursday). But then by this afternoon I thought today was Saturday because I didn't go to work but went shopping, had coffee, and generally lazed about. But then tomorrow will actually be Saturday with the usual breakfast out to start the weekend. It's all very confusing. Most frustrating of all is that Monday sees me return to work. Where have my three weeks holiday disappeared to? When I began January 5 seemed like ages away. And now I realise I have read none of the books I planned to (one of these years I am determined to read A suitable boy which I have owned for ages), nor I have seen any movies or watched any of the dvds I had lined up (there's still plenty of Seinfeld awaiting blogging). Sure, I've had a lot of nice afternoon naps (and even sometimes two in one can fit one in late morning if you really get organised), but Christmas dominated the break in both preparation and recovery. So I don't know that it was a really relaxing holiday. The lesson,I think, is more careful planning for next time.

An encouraging "no"

Just received a very encouraging "no" to my Arrested Development paper that I had sent to The Velvet Light Trap. That's okay. Until a week or so ago, I had actually forgotten I sent it. And unlike some journals they took the time to give some very useful, lengthy constructive criticism, praising some aspects of it which was nice, and recommending that I definitely follow through with the ideas in it to revise the paper. In my experience not all journals bother to do that either. They did take some time to get back to me, so I can live with the fact that I won't revise it for them. I'm happy to keep it on the backburner for the first few months of the year while the book is my focus. This article was a new idea, just germinating, when I wrote the paper. And I believe no writing is wasted if it continues to generate new ideas in my current work - which it has.

So, all in all, good.