It's nerdy AND involves gigantic Aussie arachnids! It's the ultimate Surviving Oz image! Wheeee!
September 28, 2009
It's nerdy AND involves gigantic Aussie arachnids! It's the ultimate Surviving Oz image! Wheeee!
September 24, 2009
Our internet router got fried in an electrical storm the day before yesterday - we've ordered a new one, but it won't arrive until sometime next week. It's killing me because I have some awesome photos of dust (yes, dust!) to post. Plus I'm already getting cold sweats and shakes from withdrawl, internet addict that I am.
So I'll probably be AWOL for the next few days, unless we can borrow a router from a friend; in the meantime, check out some of the fine folks in the What I Read list on the right, and no wild parties or breaking into the liquor cabinet while I'm gone, m'kay?
September 21, 2009
Whip over to Save The Words to pick a word of your very own - it's a quirky little project hosted by Oxford Dictionaries to try to keep unusual words circulating in the English language. I have my eye on "ossifragant" as well, that saucy minx...
September 19, 2009
As far as letters go, it was pretty boring. Plain white envelope. Postage paid stamp. Nondescript return address. I figured it was junk mail, but opened it anyway - I don't get enough letters to justify throwing any of them away without opening them to check out what's inside first.
At first glance, I thought it must have something to do with the local government - a statement sent out to tell us how wonderful they were doing, or something else equally self-serving.
And then I saw this:
And then I got nervous. It was only one piece of paper. If college applications taught me anything, it's that the thin envelopes are the bad ones.
But as it turns out, thin envelopes are good for citizenship applications. In fact, they're very good:
My Australian citizenship isn't finalized yet - I still have to attend a citizenship ceremony and take the pledge of commitment before it's a done deal.
This will probably happen in the next six months - it's entirely at the discretion of my local government, and depends on when they decide to set up a ceremony.
So it's not quite party time yet.
Eh, who am I kidding? WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
September 17, 2009
And I quit this one at about the 100 page mark*:
If I can get that far into a book and still have absolutely no idea what it's about (and secretly hope that the main character will die in a tragic farming accident so we can move onto someone more interesting), then we're through - sorry, Joyce.
*Until earlier this year, I'd never quit reading a book midway. I'd grimly stick it out with even the worst books, just because I didn't like the idea of not seeing it through to the end in the vain hope that it would miraculously improve. Then I had a rather enlightening conversation with my boss, who said to me, "How many good books are there in the world that you want to read? Thousands upon thousands upon thousands. And how many of those can you read in a year ? Maybe two hundred? You'll never come close to reading all the good books that are out there, so why waste your time with the bad ones?" I know it's so obvious, but that moment was like a shaft of light from the heavens. Since then, I've been far less tolerant with the bad ones. Because she was right - with so many good books in the world, why waste my time?
September 14, 2009
Cleaning out my fridge today, I ended up staring at half a dozen eggs that I'd hard boiled a couple days before and some chicken that we'd taken out of the freezer two days ago but hadn't gotten around to cooking. How long can you keep hard boiled eggs? When do you have to throw out thawed chicken?* Do I keep 'em? Chuck 'em? A little googling brought up Still Tasty, and a new love was borne. I'm a bit nervous about food storage (a couple bad bouts of food poisoning will do that to a girl), so this site is like a dream come true.
Oh, and it solves marital problems! One of the ongoing debates between Ben and yours truly is "does ketchup [aka tomato sauce, if you live in Oz] get stored in the fridge or in the pantry?" I was raised to keep it in the fridge. Most Aussies shove it in the pantry. It turns out that the correct answer is...either. Which was rather disappointing, considering how much I enjoy gloating when I'm right. HOWEVER: the flavor and quality stay good for six months in the fridge, but only one month in the pantry. So neener neener - I win!
* The answers are: hard boiled eggs in the shell can be stored for 1-2 weeks, and thawed chicken is OK for up to three days as long as it doesn't feel slimy. Yaaaay, no food poisoning here!
September 13, 2009
Alice was one of my all time favorite books as a child, and while I'm sure Burton's interpretation won't be faithful to the book (much in the same way that his Sleepy Hollow didn't bear more than a passing resemblance to Washington Irving's original story about Ichabod Crane), he has the right touch for this kind of story - imaginative and lush, with a dash of creepy...because as anyone who has ever read the book can tell you, it was creepy. Charming and funny at times, but creepy as all hell, in the same way that a disturbing dream leaves you unsettled after you wake up.
I am beyond excited for this movie - it has the potential to be incredibly awesome or mind-blowingly sucky. Here's hoping for awesome!
September 12, 2009
September 9, 2009
I was a remarkably well behaved child and teenager - even my mother will vouch for this. I was clumsy and terribly accident prone (a running joke in my family was that my brother and sister rarely got hurt because I had enough scrapes and broken bones for all three of us), but I was very quiet and bookish, polite and well mannered - seldom badly behaved and not the kind of kid who always got into funny situations. I was the teen who loved playing Scrabble and gin with their grandmother. Unfortunately, this is one of those things that's always very difficult to convince people is true - they assume you're either too full of yourself or too embarrassed to tell the truth about what you got up to as a kid. But the truth in my case is...not much happened.
So I've spent the last couple of days trying to think of an embarrassing story I could tell Ben's parents the next time I see them, and I can only come up with one thing: the story of when I got my driver's license.
At the time, the waiting period for taking the physical driving test at my local DMV was several months long - if I failed, I'd have been forced to wait four months or so before I could retake the test, so as you can imagine, I was pretty eager to pass.
I waited for ages in the DMV office, eyeing the threadbare 1960's decor until the instructor called my name. We went out to the parking lot, where I showed him the van I'd be using to take the test (that's right, y'all - I took the test in my NANA'S VAN) and he started the pre-test checklist. You know the one, where they make sure that the vehicle is roadworthy before they'll let you drive it out of the parking lot. I had to sit in the driver's seat and rev the engine, honk the horn, etc.
Eventually he asked me to turn the keys in the ignition to the half point so the electrical components were working, but the engine wasn't running. Headlights - check. Brights - check. Brake lights - no check. I broke into a cold sweat. Please work. I don't want to have to reschedule this test. I'm sure they were working this morning. Please, please work.
Nope. The brake lights just wouldn't come on. The instructor said he'd give me another shot, and asked to me to test them again, so I pressed a bit harder on the pedal. Nothing. Not even a flicker. We tried again - I punched down even harder. Still nothing.
The instructor came up to the driver's window and said, "Look, I'm sorry. Your brake lights aren't working, and you can't use this car to take the test. I have a lot of appointments that I need to do this afternoon, so I'm sorry, but I'll have to go." I gave him a look of utter misery, silently begging him for another shot. He sighed, then said, "One more try. But that's it, OK? Then I have to go." I nodded, leaned my head back on the headrest, closed my eyes in a silent prayer, and pressed down on the pedal as hard as I could.
After a few seconds, I opened my eyes and saw that he was still standing in the same place, now with his head through the window, staring down at my feet. After a moment of dead silence, he said, "Lisa.........that's the gas pedal."
Amazingly, he was still brave enough to get in the car and let me take the test. And thankfully, I passed and got my license that day. (And yes, I DO know the difference between the gas and the brake pedals!)
I never told this story to my parents. I wanted them to keep letting me drive.
September 7, 2009
And it was fun, but there was something...missing. It was OK, but it wasn't quite me. So this weekend, I took another stab at it - and with much better results, if I do say so myself!
Let me know what you think - for the lazy, I'll even include a clicky poll (which you may not be able to see if you're looking at this in an RSS feed):
September 5, 2009
The Casanova is the first of thirty juicy looking burgers featured on the site (personally, I think The Big Ben or The Mona Lisa look pretty fab). It's blatantly designed to promote Wisconsin cheese, but still pretty cool - I like the swish index card design, not to mention the artery-clogging recipes.
But I think what really gets me is the amusing narration from gravel-voiced Patrick Warburton (he of Puddy from Sienfeld, Kronk in The Emperor's New Groove and the eponymous Tick in The Tick, of which I am one of approximately three fans on the planet). Seriously, make sure you have your volume turned on when you visit the site. I'd happily listen to that guy read a phone book - I actually laughed out loud when he crooned about Gruyere.
And now I'm hungry. Hmm. Perhaps The Aunt Millie would hit the spot...
September 3, 2009
My group assignment is finished. I hate group assignments to the very center of my soul. By the time they're over, I always want to throat-punch half my teammates.
I'm surrounded by sleeping animals, which is possibly the coziest feeling ever. It's a chorus of snoring cats and dogs.
I had a whole punnet of strawberries for dessert. Gawd, I love strawberries. Did I ever tell you I had a strawberry-themed birthday as a kid? I think I was about four. It was awesome.
That is all.