Sunday, June 29, 2008

Replica bead making

One of my justifications for the acquisition of my own glass bead making gear is that I will be able to make replica Anglo-Saxon/Viking beads to go with our, and other group members', Huscarls costumes. This weekend I finally got around to making a couple of sets of replica-ish beads. The purple ones are for Caitlin and I do wonder if the encased flowers are historically accurate but the green and brown ones are, I think, pretty close to being HA.

Lampwork bead sets

I'm still short a few tools that I want for shaping beads so I had to improvise a bit which meant the bigger beads didn't come out as neatly as I'd have liked but that's ok, I'm sure the dark ages bead makers weren't all equipped with graphite paddles and tungsten pokers either!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Book Meme

Yeah, it's a bit on the repetitive side but books just happen to be one of my obsessions so I'm doing it anyway.

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Put an asterisk next to the books you'd rather shove hot pokers in your eyes than read
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

01. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
02. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
03. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
04. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
05. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
06. The Bible
07. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
08. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
09. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare - I own 2 copies but I don't ever anticipate getting all the way through
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - started, didn't finish
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwel
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - out of morbid curiosity, and wasn't that a waste of several hours.
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet- William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Interesting. It would seem that any of those books I want to read, I have, while at the same time I don't rule out giving pretty much anything a go.

Of course, as suze points out, one has to wonder how they came up with the list - what does "the top 100 books" mean anyway?

Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P. George Carlin

Damn.* I like George Carlin :(

Comedian George Carlin dies in Los Angeles at 71.

The 10 Commandments

Seven Words

*Yeah, I know, "damn" doesn't really do him justice does it?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Menu plan 23 June 08

Haven't done one of these in a while and the lack has been showing up very clearly in our grocery budget and our eating out/takeaway budget - oops! Time to get back on track.

Oven fish and chips
Fruit & yoghurt
Bangers and mash
Fruit & yoghurt
Baked dinner - leg of lamb
Rice pudding
Chicken Korma curry & rice
Fruit & yoghurt
BBQ ribs, corn, jacket potato and salad
Ice cream & fruit
Steak sandwiches and chips
Fruit & yoghurt
Ham and cheese pasta bake
Ice cream & fruit

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Tom has ambitions. Plans. I'll let him tell you about them.

I am going to run a store. When it's built I think lots of people will like to come and it will be a costume store. I think I would like to build it in Parramatta. It will be colourful and have some masks on the walls. It will have things like Marvel costumes and some won't be Marvel but lots will be from different types of movies. There will be things like Batman, the Joker and Catwoman and also some of them will be The Shredder and Casey and April. That's gonna be it for now.

Sometimes I'll show people how I make the costumes. I might also let some children try them on to find out what size they need. I might take a little break in the morning, if I'm allowed to. Also there will be people who will be the boss when I'm not around. It will be open Saturday and for the whole week except it won't be open on Sunday because I take a break on Sunday. I am going to make all the costumes.

I think lots of people will find it interesting, and I think lots of people will be excited and can't wait until it's going to be open! It's going to be a nice store, I hope rats don't come in and people find the rat and then close it down.*

I know I can't wait till it's open :)

*Someone has been watching Ratatouille

Saturday, June 14, 2008


You're Prufrock and Other Observations!

by T.S. Eliot

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic
and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying
to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really
heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Coffee spoons? Coffee spoons?! But I answered "yes" to the tea question!

Damn it, now I'm going to have to find it and read it. I'm pretty sure the only T.S. Elliot I've read till now is Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Which is why the cats in my life have been named as follows: Jonathon Aragorn, James Fëanor, Samantha Tinúviel and Jack Sparrow. Come on, you have to admit the name Sparrow could "never belong to more than one cat".

Ergh. I think I'm a little too sleepy for J. Alfred tonight. But at least the coffee spoons thing makes sense now :P

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Adventures in dog ownership

Bloody dogs, in particular the ones which escape from backyards and wander the streets unattended.

So. Brendan (who, I might point out, REALLY doesn't like dogs) and I were walking Clara up to the school to meet the kids and we get stopped by this guy who is looking for Pymble Station, had no map, no idea where he was and found it really hard to believe he was actually closer to Thornleigh than Pymble. And while I was futilely trying to explain, this bloody great bulldog turns up and starts trying to make friends with Clara. None of the handful of people out in the street knew this dog but I presume it was from somewhere local. It was about Clara's height but nearly twice her bulk, friendly enough, all tail wagging and playful, but Clara was not happy, she was all jumpy and beginning to get growly. It was just a bit too full on for her (not to mention Bren!). I had to get Bren to take Clara on ahead while I held the bulldog. No tags on its collar. Kids are waiting at school. What the hell do I do now?!

Once Bren was well out of sight I tried letting go of the dog, it started to wander off in the other direction, so I began to hope I'd be able to catch up with Bren without an extra dog in tow. Then suddenly it turned and bolted past me. Crap! I ran after it, don't know why I bothered really, there was no way I was going catch it :P, and was relieved to discover it was making a beeline for another dog being walked by a young bloke. He very kindly said he was ok to have the bulldog follow him seeing as his dog was old, half-blind, very placid and apparently barely aware of the bulldog. So I thanked him profusely and buggered off to catch up with Bren.

We made it by the skin of our teeth to be in time to get the kids.

I seemed to have pulled a calf muscle (that's what I get for running) and my shoulder is a bit sore too from holding a bloody great muscle-bound bulldog by the collar when it really wanted to go THAT WAY!!!!

I think I need a stiff drink.

Bren may need therapy.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'm so proud

It turns out that:


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!



As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

(Actually I'm not sure that's such a good thing.)

Just reading through the test is amusing in its own right. I did take a look through the flickr set of the original test booklet when it was doing the rounds of the blogosphere a short while back and had a good laugh then and I remember thinking it needed to be turned into a net quiz!

Stuff that made me happy this week

The canteen supervisor told me she enjoys reading my contributions to the school newsletter because I write well. Who knew anyone cared about the literary merits of school newsletters?

The rain held off till 3pm on Family Fun Day at the school last Sunday. Family Fun Day is the P&C's major fundraising event of the year complete with rides, stalls, performances by dance groups and bands - the works, and each year we dread being rained out.

Caitlin sang beautifully at Family Fun Day. They asked the talent quest winners from last year to perform, she didn't repeat her Under Your Spell rendition instead she went with Hopelessly Devoted to You. I helped her rehearse the night before. And then I had it stuck in my head for days after.

I sold 5 necklaces and 15 pairs of earrings on the craft stall, also at Family Fun Day. It's nice when other people like the stuff I've made.

When I cooked a tuna pasta bake for dinner last night the kids all thanked me for a lovely dinner even though they all hated it. Yep, I've successfully terrified them into appeasing the cook at all costs.

My 11 year old son wants to play Sing Star with me. We're doing it right now - I'm blogging between songs. :D

The First Down Under Feminists Carnival up at Hoyden about Town

A veritable cornucopia of links awaits you there. Go. Click. Read!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I went to work today

Now that's something I haven't said in about 11.5 years! Yep I'm back in the paid workforce, just 2 half-days a week at the moment and nicely flexible when it comes to school holidays and the like. I'm not sure how much work they'll have for me going forward (and of course there's the whole will they actually want to keep me or not thing) but so far it all seems good.

I get to go to an office and sit at a desk, make phone calls, send emails and drink coffee. There could be worse things in life :)

Huge thanks to my good friend Jen for putting in lots of good words for me - it's her desk I'm sitting at on the days she's not there. Which is the only bummer 'cause it would be even more awesome if I was working with her there in the office instead of merely hijacking her workstation.

In other news, I think the dog is allergic to our house, she's been spending lots of time inside with all the rain lately and she just will. not. stop. scratching. It's driving me nuts especially in the wee small hours of the morning at the foot of our bed. And she's doing nasty things to her skin in the process. Might need to get the vet in....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dollhouse promo clip

Joss and Eliza talking about Dollhouse.

Nothing much by way of new information really, but cute! and amusing! :)