pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Having finally got around to storing away my winter woollies, I realised my cedarwood mothballs needed perking up with a bottle of cedarwood essential oil I bought for the purpose months ago. There's a little plastic bag of mothballs sitting on my desk so I can rub them around now and then until the oil soaks in. I keep seeing the bag out of the corner of my eye and thinking it's something to snack on, like crystallised ginger or brazil nuts or something yummy. Have not absently dipped my hand in as yet.

I'm getting new glasses soon. I got my glasses when I was 16 in order to pass the eyesight test when learning to drive; the original owlish lenses were cut down to fit more stylish little rectangular frames when the old frames fell apart, and those frames have lasted for years until too many bits came off them too. Occasional eye tests in the last 17 years have shown that my eyesight is not really changing enough to make a difference; yesterday's test showed a slight worsening in one eye and a change in the angle of the other's astigmatism. I feel completely justified in not getting my glasses replaced every two years as the opticians would prefer. My new frames are going to be PURPLE and I think they look good with my current wavy bob hairstyle - no guarantees if they'll work with long hair or if I cut it all short again. Another good thing is that I can patch up the old pair again and use them as spares; I think I'll keep them by the TV so I can watch without having to go hunting in my bag every time.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I wanted to post about my best Christmas songs list because today I'm listening to all the Christmas songs thanks to [personal profile] jekesta's post, and also because it's warm and muggy and raining very hard, which is always what happens shortly before Christmas. The rain and the waterlogged garden and the washing not getting dry are very characteristic of this time of year.

Wizzard yay! Straight off [personal profile] jekesta's list because it's lovely. No slight intended on Slade, of course.

Boney M's Mary's Boy Child is one of the most memorable off the Christmas songs tape we had when I was small. It also had Snoopy's Christmas, Anne Murray's Silent Night and a truly atrocious cheesy Rudolph.

Chris Rea, whose name I didn't know before looking up the video. I'm not sure what the line "top to toe in tailbacks" means but it might be to do with snapping the ends off beans for Christmas dinner.

Cliff Richard who is sort of like tinsel and the Virgin Mary in Christmassy relevance; couldn't have Christmas without him and that's why I couldn't choose which song to put in.

QUEEN! <3

Bing Crosby and David Bowie ... how is it that their voices sound so good together? Especially since one is in a grandpa cardy and the other is from another planet.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I'm trying to write a story containing a heterosexual romance which subverts all the stuff I can't stand about heterosexual romances, and I have just come to the realisation that turning something on its head too many times can result in the damn thing being up the same way it started.

In attempting to correct for "the man always makes the moves" AND "lol, what's consent" in mainstream romances, I've ended up in a situation where although the woman has expressed her interest, it's now entirely up to the man whether this goes anywhere and if so at what pace, and the woman's desires are not really relevant to the situation. While this is an improvement over bodice-rippers, it is not the story I intended to tell.

Maybe I shouldn't also have tried to subvert "the man always has more sexual experience" in the same story. This is why same-sex couples often seem the simpler option...
pebblerocker: A twenty-sided die carved from stone. (d20)
Ginger Geoffrey stares at me in fascination when I sweep the floor. Such curiosity and puzzlement on his little cat face. I can't help feeling that he's making a point about how infrequently I enact this strange ritual, and if I did housework more often he'd not be so baffled to see it.

I'm playing Dragon Age: Origins! It's a lot of fun! (This is possibly something that takes up time I could be spending on something more constructive!) I decided to make a dwarf character. The top of her head comes up not quite as far as her companion Alistair's shoulder; I'm guessing he's meant to be on the tall side but not exceptionally so, six feet plus or minus a little, which puts my character at around four foot ten. Which is not much smaller than me in real life. So when NPCs meet me and say, "Ah! You're a dwarf!" they are making quite an assumption - she could just as well be a human at the lower range of normal height. I'm quite used to coming up to people's shoulders, or their armpits if they're unusually tall. Playing as a character who's short like me and also incredibly physically capable and skilled with an enormous two-handed sword is... rather satisfying.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Every time I think I might post something here, I realise that a lot of it wouldn't make much sense without context, and I never get around to posting the "where I'm at" post.

I moved house. I moved from a smallish and cheap house in a noisy street to a beautiful roomy new house on the edge of town. This has been cause for some happiness and some distress. I love living in a really nice house, where the walls are a colour I chose and there are no neighbours zooming up and down the driveway past my window twenty times a day and it's wonderfully quiet and dark at night. I am distressed that not everybody gets this sort of thing. Life isn't fair and that bothers me even when the unfairness in my favour.

I am filled with shame when a person in my life says that I must have been doing a lot of positive thinking to attract such wealth from the Universe. According to her beliefs I wouldn't have received this if I didn't deserve it, and therefore I must be better than her and she'll have to do more affirmations until she deserves it too. This thinking is horrifying to me; being praised for winning at capitalism is not the sort of approval I want.

I'm trying to invent a system of town planning in which everyone can have a bedroom window looking out over trees and croplands instead of streetlights and roads. My ideal town needs to have fractal edges so everyone can live at the edge. Although perhaps there are outgoing types of people who wouldn't mind living in the middle with people all around them. I love being at home and not having to see or hear any people at all.

When the people in my old street heard I was moving out soon, several different people approached me to ask when my moving date was and whether they could move straight in after me. I'm happy to be out of that ticky-tacky box of a house, but it was at least sunny and dry and that makes it a very desirable house on that side of town. I met someone whose landlord had given her the minimum amount of notice right before Christmas and she'd had nowhere to go, so she was sleeping on her daughter's couch while her husband, who has a bad back, had to live in their car. And someone else whose place was mouldy and her children had bad asthma and the landlord wouldn't do anything about the pool of standing water under the house. And all I could do was say what rental agency to apply to. My few near neighbours in the new place are all middle-aged white people.

I do love this new house though. All the peace and quiet, the row of pine trees dividing my place from farmland, the grey warblers and tui and moreporks I hear in the trees. I started a bit of a herb garden and I like gardening better now I'm not being squashed by the weight of people's eyes looking at me whenever I'm outside. Moving house was very stressful but living here is taking away a lot of strain I didn't really know I could escape from.
pebblerocker: A dream ship sails through the sky. (Fool in the Grand Master of the Interest)
My partner was watching a documentary the other evening on sleep and dreams, and there was a section on lucid dreaming. It's fascinating to me that it's potentially possible for brains to do that; I think it would be interesting to experience.

Last night I dreamt I was riding around the streets in the area where I used to live on a small purple bicycle with straight handlebars. I rode around for a bit and then I noticed I was riding a larger red bicycle with swept-back handlebars. I was surprised that the bike had changed while I was riding it; I also had a very strong feeling that there was something very important to remember about why bicycles don't change into different bicycles and what it meant that this had happened. I struggled to work out what it was that I needed to remember, what vital fact this clue was telling me - I wrestled hard with it, but the crowd of children running behind me distracted me and I forgot what I was trying to do.

Every time I'm reminded that lucid dreaming exists I seem to have one of these dreams; this one was the closest I've got so far, with not just the realisation that something odd and impossible had happened, but the knowledge that I could deduce something from the impossibility, even though I didn't quite get to the answer. Odd sights in dreams (day into night, childhood home attached to current garden) don't seem to trigger any realisation, but things that feel wrong do. Both bicycles in my dream are real ones that I'm familiar with riding (though only one is mine) and they feel very different, with different riding positions and gears.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Photos of storm damage at the NZ Herald, linked by [personal profile] vilakins - near the end is my absolute favourite, taken in Ponsonby, haunt of rich people who like coffee, showing devastation of a shop-window dummy. Or perhaps a failed Auton invasion.

There wasn't as much wind as that down in the Waikato - no trees down at our place this time - but we had torrential rain and discovered that the drainage at our new house wasn't done properly at all. We were almost flooded out two nights in a row. I was outside at half past ten last night with torch and shovel, trying to divert water from pooling dangerously close to the laundry door and wishing I had sandbags to use. Our driveway turned into a cataract and I drove the cars up to park at the top, where there wasn't so much water, before we started work on digging a drainage channel right across the drive and reinforcing it with a dam made of fenceposts and the gravel we'd reserved to make a path - whatever came to hand.

Some drainage contractors came out (very promptly!) to put a new trench and pipe in yesterday, but the rain that evening bucketed down even harder and the runoff coming down the hill overflowed the new drain and went straight on as if it wasn't there. They will be back next week with a digger and a bigger pipe. I'm hoping we can put across the point that the drainage should have been put in properly at the start (i.e. in the right place - where the water goes) and we won't have to pay for the work ourselves. Though the contractors definitely need their fair pay, because they're doing a great job for us and they're not the same people who couldn't be bothered doing the work properly the first time.

My partner and I are both so short on sleep...
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I discovered an Agatha Christie book I'd never read and I'm enjoying it so much. I'm at the part where the second murder has just happened and the detective has all the information but it's in a jumble of red herrings, and everyone is acting suspiciously but PROBABLY just because they're bartering fresh butter and don't want to talk to the police about their evasion of the post-war rationing, and I haven't a CLUE who did what and why. This is my favourite part of the murder mystery experience and I sort of want to stop here or read just one paragraph a day and stay deliciously tantalised forever.

Puzzling and puzzling all day at work about it: maybe the young distant cousins of the inheritor of the large fortune are *plot details from the middle of A Murder is Announced, but not the end* )

My ebook copy seems to have had a few OCR glitches creep in. Most obviously, the title is down as "A Murder is Announces" even though it's "Announced" on the cover image. There was a bit of misplaced punctuation which made it look as if someone's husband's name was Sonia. The best mistake, repeated twice, was when the masked man entered the drawing room "nourishing a revolver".
pebblerocker: Mary Bennet frowns: "I should infinitely prefer a book" (I should infinitely prefer a book)
There's a sign on the main road in my town saying:
[FAST FOOD OUTLET]
600 mtr's

That saves one character over writing "metres" in full, and including the space uses FIVE characters more than if they'd used the actual abbreviation.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Out riding my bike and a big truck passed me loaded up with bales of hay. At least 16 or 20 round bales, stacked two high - these are the ones that have to be moved with machinery. The sweet, hot grassy smell coming off those!

Someone must have been using metal polish inside a house further down, because when I smelt it I was reminded of my grandmother's silver christening mug. I was allowed to play with some of the less fragile things out of her china cabinet and that was one of them.

I pedalled past the bread factory and it was raisin bread day! I never know when they're going to be making raisin bread, it can be any day of the week. Going past on raisin bread day is exquisite torture, especially when I'm hungry - I love that smell so much.

Then I rode past the crystal wizard dragon shop, which sells heaps of smelly things. Sometimes it's scented soaps wafting out the door, but more often it's incense. They burn incense in the shop, and even when there's none burning the amount of incense packed in there means you can smell it a hundred metres down the road.

Biking up along by the railway lines, all the fennel growing beside the tracks was in flower, growing tall and smelling strong with the sun beating down on it. I'll be checking later on when the seeds are ready so I can pull off a few handfuls and try to make them grow around my place.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Hello internet. I still exist.

In a week's time I'm moving house. That's always stressful. I've been lucky enough to stay in one house for seven or eight years and I don't want to pack up everything, I want to pull the blankets over my head and hide forever. The new house is nice though; it has insulation and double glazing, and when I visited it after it had been shut up all day with the sun blazing down it was still nice and cool inside - unlike the tupperware box of a house where I live now.

Geoffrey continues to expand his hunting repertoire. He has cut down a bit on the earthworm hobby and has in the last few weeks carried in a couple of young birds, a mouse or two and a frog, many of which were completely unharmed and successfully released. He's in the habit of carrying his captives straight into the bathroom and gloating over them in there, giving us plenty of time to effect a rescue. The frog (species identified as a green and golden bell frog) survived unscathed, despite being carried who knows how far in Geoff's teeth, and we took it to the lake where it is presumably happy and better educated than before.

I'm keen to get back into Blake's 7 and start posting about it - though at my rate the Adventures with the Wife and Blake blog will outstrip me rapidly. Currently I'm progressing through Due South series 1 with much enjoyment, except that the 1971 Buick Riviera got blown up and I felt too sad to go on to the next episode. The car in a cop show is always practically a main character. No chance of me running out of Due South because there are so many episodes to a series!
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Via [personal profile] vilakins and [personal profile] feng_shui_house

I Am A: Lawful Neutral Human Druid/Wizard (2nd/2nd Level)
(that is, a nerdy environmentalist)
Full results under cut )
This may explain why, despite considering myself an anti-establishment sort of person, I keep glomming onto Lawful characters and identifying with them massively.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I made a knitted cat toy for my day's art. Somewhat large photos under cut.
Read more... )
pebblerocker: Avon from Blake's 7 (Avon)
Finally getting around to posting about B7 again. Second episode, yay! I think everything about Blake's 7 is full of yay. This is fun!

Read more... )
pebblerocker: Red Dwarf's Cat climbs through a hatch; text "Investigating" (Investigating!)
This cat! Can you believe this cat! Have a picture of him under the cut. Butter would not melt in his little mouth.
Read more... )
pebblerocker: Mary Bennet frowns: "I should infinitely prefer a book" (I should infinitely prefer a book)
My library asked me to do a survey and it was all going nicely until I got to question 10: Do you think it's important for people to have access to a library? [yes/no] Why?

Because people need AIR. And PARKS with TREES in them. And LIBRARIES DUH. Should I answer this question as if explaining to a three-year-old who asks "Why do we breathe?" I should probably answer as if explaining to a soulless public servant who is looking for ways for the government to save all that money it had to use up on tax cuts for rich people. I don't know how to answer.

I haven't actually been to a library for quite some time because I'm going through a phase of re-reading books I have in my house in order to prove that I need to have them. Later this month there's a book sale on and I have already arranged for a day off work specifically so I can go. I have also donated THREE whole books to the sale to make room for the AT LEAST TWENTY that will come home with me. I can't wait.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
It's been five years since I accidentally fell into a den of Blake's 7 fans. I've seen a lot of B7 icons and screencaps, character portraits for art month, squeeing discussions I can't quite follow, fanfic I've enjoyed without being capable of fully appreciating. Now I'm finally getting around to watching it!

This post will probably only be of interest to B7 fans, especially to those who enjoy getting others hooked (you evil people, you...)
Read more... )
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
The Marriage (Definition of marriage) Amendment Bill had its third reading in Parliament this evening, and it passed: 77 votes to 44. We watched it live right through. Louisa Wall (whose bill it is) made a wonderful opening speech and a lot of the other speakers were fantastic. It was great to see gay and lesbian MPs speaking about what the Bill means, and that there was so much cross-party support. I didn't expect so many old men of the National party to vote in favour - some who weren't even wearing lavender ties. Maryan Street, Mojo Mathers and Te Ururoa Flavell made amazing speeches. Suddenly I feel like Parliament might be relevant to me more than once every four years.

This makes New Zealand the 13th country in the world to legislate marriage equality and it feels so good.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
My Snapshot Bingo card was a bit all over the place but I managed to fill in one line of it and post the photos. That means I can have a new card before the round's over, although I may not get far with it. [personal profile] feng_shui_house: there are coots in one of the pictures :)

Photos )

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