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)
1. I like my dentist, he's very cool. He's really into his subject and loves talking about it, a bit of an Adrian Anorak only more personable. After my check-up he was telling me all about different types of bacteria that exist in the mouth and why some cavities progress faster than others, and I was really interested in it, I was fascinated by fun science. If only it was fun science that didn't have Lots Of Pain as a consequence.

2. I like gaming with other women! My guild used to have lots of women when I joined, women moderating and mentoring and women just playing. With attrition the active playerbase has gone down over the years (the game's ten years old after all) and for the last couple of years I've been gaming in several overlapping groups in which I'm the only woman, and I know of one other woman playing on the same server whose sessions don't usually overlap with mine. Now, with the release of Diablo 3, there's an influx of new players; I'm playing regularly with the niece of a long-time D2 friend, I had a game with an LJ friend this week, and there are more women around in my guild which is GREAT. I want there to be even more.

3. I like Scrapheap! We're watching the first series, before it became Scrapheap Challenge and got a new format and more money for sets and a different pair of teams every week and semi-finals. In the first series Robert Llewellyn is the only presenter and there are only two teams, trying to win the most challenges by the end of the series. I love that it's low-budget and doesn't care. I love how everything is dirty and they eat lunch with greasy hands and wear grubby grey uniforms. I love Anne the hovercraft champion and I love Major Dick's moustache. I love all the welding and bashing things. I love that it doesn't try to hype everything up and make you wait two ad breaks to see anything interesting happen like some shows I could mention, it's actually exciting and doesn't need hype because everyone just wants to see which tractor is strongest and whether the trebuchet will work better than the mangonel.

4. I like not being at work. I had to work 6-day weeks for a year due to constant ongoing staff shortages and it was really hard and I was getting depressed because I never had the energy to do anything fun. They've finally managed to hire two new people and I haven't been needed to work at all for a month, which is longer than I'd normally like to be away from work but since I've been overworked for so long I'm really happy about it. I haven't exactly been an explosion of industry and making the house perfectly tidy and writing all the stories I never got around to and being organised etc, but I am doing a little gardening and reading a lot and I'm able to do fun things that also need physical effort rather than having to save up energy to get through work. And my strained wrist is recuperating nicely.

5. I like reading the same books my mother is reading, working our way through a series together and swapping books back and forth and going to the library to collect books for each other and talking about them. I'm amused when she's read a book and I'm partway through and I say I don't think things will go as well as Certain Character hopes and she just says Hmmmm.

Yaaay!

Dec. 10th, 2011 07:18 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Election news: the special votes have all been counted at last and the Green party went up to over 11% of party votes, meaning they now get a fourteenth MP in parliament. I've been hoping for this, both generally because the more Greens we have, the better they can try to curb the worst excesses of the National party, and in particular because the fourteenth on the Green list is Mojo Mathers, who becomes the world's fifth deaf member of parliament. She'll be a good advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, discrimination and accessibility issues as well as hearing impairment issues. So exciting!

Before the election I was reading news stories about the possibility that Ms Mathers could get in based on poll results, and of course one shouldn't read the comments on the Herald website but I did and there was the inevitable moaning about the horror of someone getting special treatment and having transcripts made available and a sign language interpreter at taxpayers' expense -- and the next comment pointed out that hey, deaf people pay taxes too, which I found most heartening.

Yaaay!

Dec. 10th, 2011 06:59 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Election news: the special votes have all been counted at last and the Green party went up to over 11% of party votes, meaning they now get a fourteenth MP in parliament. I've been hoping for this, both generally because the more Greens we have, the better they can try to curb the worst excesses of the National party, and in particular because the fourteenth on the Green list is Mojo Mathers, who becomes the world's fifth deaf member of parliament. She'll be a good advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, discrimination and accessibility issues as well as hearing impairment issues. So exciting!

Before the election I was reading news stories about the possibility that Ms Mathers could get in based on poll results, and of course one shouldn't read the comments on the Herald website but I did and there was the inevitable moaning about the horror of someone getting special treatment and having transcripts made available and a sign language interpreter at taxpayers' expense -- and the next comment pointed out that hey, deaf people pay taxes too, which I found most heartening.
pebblerocker: Red Dwarf's Cat climbs through a hatch; text "Investigating" (Investigating!)
This kitten purrs like he's about to throw a bearing. He purrs louder than any kitty I've met, by weight. He purrs so hard he hiccups. It's so cute I can't stand it.

In other adorableness updates, these kits think any door opened by the humans always leads to a magical land of crinkly things and furniture to climb on, with chances of food. They've developed an interest in the really big room with the grass and wind and stuff and it's especially exciting since it's forbidden. And despite immediate punishment by water every time they get in they're still fascinated by that door in the bathroom... the one the humans go through to get clean!
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Well! Twelfth Night was fantastic. I loved the lighting, the music, the actors. Olivia and Viola were both very good, Feste the fool was just amazing. A very talented man, agile and energetic with a good singing voice. I loved the way he was always turning up on the edge of the action throughout the play. He'd interact with the other characters, he'd address the audience, he'd do a silly dance, he'd vanish again -- but I had the feeling he knew everything that was going on and enjoyed watching the others going through their problems, as if he was really the main character and was amusing himself by giving himself a small cameo in their story and allowing them to think of him as unimportant.
I wrote a bit much... )
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Yay! I'm going to see a Shakespeare play this week!

I only heard about it last night; a friend is in it and it's selling out rapidly so a quick decision was necessary. My sister and I are going together. The play is Twelfth Night, which is (yay) one of the comedies and (more yay) one of the cross-dressing mistaken identity ones. (Did Will write any funny stories not involving cross-dressing?) I haven't seen Shakespeare for years and years and this sounds like it will be heaps of fun.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I love op shops. I bought a pair of three-quarter cargo pants for a dollar. They were hanging on the end of a rack as I walked past on the way to the counter, so I grabbed them and tried them on and not only did they fit, they felt GREAT. You know when you try something on and it feels so good it's like you've already owned it for ages? I love clothes like that, especially pants because a lot of pants don't fit me right. These pants have little strings in the bottoms so they can stay rolled up a bit for riding bikes.

There's a sort of magic with op shops. You can't "go shopping" there, you never find anything good if you try too hard. You just have to walk in there and see if there's anything there wanting to be bought, and if it wants you, you'll see it.

Incidentally, ought I to haggle with the volunteers to make them let me pay the price that's marked on things? I got a comfy pair of sandals, from the "All shoes $3" shelf, for $2 because the woman at the counter didn't want to charge me full price for something she'd donated herself, and although "Mugs $1" I bought a couple of marvellously ugly examples at half price.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I had a good Christmas, how about everyone else?

On Christmas Eve I played Castle Risk with the family. Much hilarity. I had Germany and made the first move of the game by invading Poland. "Get some new material," they says, "that's been done before." My sister was pleased to draw Great Britain (everyone wants that territory the same way we all want to be "the goodies"), but she had her opportunity to find out that the isles are vulnerable to invasion by sea as well as -- like Greece -- too fiddly to fit all your armies onto in the endgame. My small brother had Russia and won the game; we are discovering that Russia and France are the most easily defended territories and seem to have a definite advantage. A well-defended Moscow is tough to crack.

Christmas Day: we had a big water pistol battle. What a war-crazed violent family we are. Several presents from the boy and me gave joy to other people, and I was delighted with a funny-looking toy creature whom I will upload a photo of later on, and also with my brand-new laser mouse. Forward and back buttons, YES. So far I have not come across a single web page that requires the use of my tilt wheel.

Boxing Day: went for a bike ride, six of us pedalling along together. As most currently-experienced cyclist in the group I ended up at the back looking after the less confident and making sure nobody got lost, which meant that I missed out on seeing the spectacular crash when the leaders decided to fill in time waiting for us by playing silly buggers on the skateboard ramp.

Since then I have been engaged in extensive testing of the new mouse's gaming performance, drumming my arms off in Rock Band, and looking after tomatoes. I read recently that you can break off the tops of tomato plants so they don't get ridiculously huge and top-heavy. This may be the first year when my tomatoes don't end the season lying down.
pebblerocker: A twenty-sided die carved from stone. (d20)
Woo! I've returned to the first Guitar Hero game trying to make progress in my career and tonight (after half a dozen failed attempts) I finally managed to make it through Bark at the Moon on Medium difficulty! Yay me!

(Doing the game's hardest song on Medium may seem really easy to you, in which case I am still proud because it's at the limits of my current capability, or it may seem impossibly difficult, in which case I didn't intend to imply that I'm better than you but I'm still proud.)

Also today Les Paul died, the guitar guy. He was ninety-four. I shall play my genuine imitation Les Paul copy in his honour.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I went out to water the tomatoes in the twilight (just before all this rain came along and made my efforts irrelevant) and I saw a cloud going over that looked just like an enormous plesiosaur swimming across the sky. I would have taken a photo to show everyone only it probably wouldn't have looked much like a plesiosaur to anyone but me.

The idea of gigantic plesiosaurs swimming slowly above us is incredibly appealing to me. The plesiosaurs are watching over you.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I got all my Christmas shopping finished. Is that a happy thing? It's a good thing. There are still a few things to make and the sewing machine has given up on doing straight and zigzag stitch (it prefers blind hemming and three-step zigzag) but I can borrow a machine easily. And all the presents I've got are wrapped and labelled.

While I was doing Christmas shopping I came across a gospel choir and I thought they sounded very good. That made me happy. From the escalators you would never have guessed that only four out of thirty or forty singers weren't white, it sounded like a churchload of black people had materialised out of America. But my mother said they weren't quite hitting the notes some of the time. I couldn't tell, it sounded fine to me. She's a barbershop singer so accuracy means everything to her; there are probably different requirements for gospel singers. Singing great numbers of notes pleases the Lord, and He can forgive those who miss a few :P
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] indefatigable42 for this idea - and I seem to be more amenable to the positive thinking approach when it's not coming from my mother. :P I'm not sure if this is an official sort of meme which I'm supposed to do on certain days, but thinking about happy things is a good idea at any time, so I'll put down a few recent ones.

My partner and I cooked a meal together a few days ago, a stir-fry incorporating cauliflower from my father's garden. I like messing about in the kitchen together, I think it's good for our relationship.

I felt like drawing again, for the first time in many months, and I drew a reasonably proportioned humanoid and was proud of parts of it. It's not finished, but I might come back to it.

My two-year-old niece and I played together on the trampoline yesterday, and she ordered me about and told me when to jump and when to sit down and watch her jumping and when I should do a big bounce next to her and make her fly in the air. And I remembered jumping on the same trampoline all day every day when I was small.

I bought organic lemons today and they're much nicer than supermarket lemons, they look like real lemons off a tree, and I'm going to use them to make ginger beer.

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