Taking the Plunge

Discovered at work we have a mini coffee plunger, just big enough for one cup of coffee.
Handily, looks just like this one-->
It's branded with a recruitment company's details, which leads me to believe it must be a gift from some Christmas past. I want to say here and now, AWESOME IDEA, recruitment company. If I was a decision maker, I would totally use you again after this gift. Unlike the entirely shithouse bottle of branded Red Wine from Mail Call I got at my last job to try to win our courier business. M took one sip (he's the red drinker in our house) and declared it rubbish. I then made the mistake of trying to cook with it (to use it up!), committing the cardinal cooking sin of "don't cook with wine you wouldn't drink". As such I've been too scared to try to cook with wine again.
But I digress.

I made a brew, the Coffee is nice, the reason I like plunger coffee is I can use the same blend I would make espresso with, and grind the beans fresh myself at home.
But, I've put in too much sugar! I could almost stand my spoon up in the cup. Dammit.

Less Sugar sometimes does = less taste

This is my favourite yoghurt right now. Billed as "yogurt's 'holy grail', Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy uses a special technique that milk companies have been trying to uncover for years.

The result is a great tasting yogurt that is truly thick and creamy!" I must say, the marketing is true here IMO (in my opinion). It really is very thick compared to most low fat yoghurts, and its delicious.So being food-what-goes-in-gob-conscious I was pleased to see that this same yoghurt comes in a "60% less sugar" version also.So.Crap.
I found it entirely inedible, literally had to bin it, which was massively disappointing. Usually when food is reduced fat, the sugar increases (not with EVERY product of course) at least a little. This obviously has some sort of artificial sweetener in it, and it left this horrid after taste.

60% less sugar, 90% less taste.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

This guy, crystallises and distills what I've been thinking for a while now.

Road Map to Defeat

Published: April 19, 2008

The Democrats are doing everything they can to blow this presidential election. This is a skill that comes naturally to the party. There is no such thing as a can’t-miss year for the Democrats. They are truly gifted at finding ways to lose....
Now comes 2008, a can’t-lose year if there ever was one. A united Democratic Party should be able to win this election in a walk. The economy is terrible and getting worse. The Republicans are demoralized. John McCain is no J.F.K. And the country wants to elect a Democrat.

So what are the Democrats doing? The Clintons are running around with flamethrowers, gleefully trying to incinerate the prospects of the party’s leading candidate, Barack Obama. As Bill Clinton put it last month: “If a politician doesn’t want to get beat up, he shouldn’t run for office.”

Senator Obama, for his part, seems to have lost sight of the unifying message that proved so compelling early in his campaign and has stumbled into weird cultural predicaments that have caused some people to rethink his candidacy.
That raucous laughter you hear in the background is coming from the likes of Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, President Bush and Senator McCain. They can’t believe their good fortune....

Read the full column from the NY Times here.

In other news, London is going to the polls soon to elect a new Mayor. Vegemite eating Ex-pat Non-blondie has provided a succinct, thought provoking (=hilarious) breakdown of the major contenders, for those of us who can't vote and want to just laugh at the campaigns of politicians in other countries. And by that, I mean she's Rating the Hotties.

Food glorious food.

THE soup, with "less shit vegetables" added.
Much yummier.
Of course, the addition of a cheesy-pineappley bread roll doesn't hurt either...
Final score? M - 2.5Kg, Me - 1.5kg.

And the Anzac biscuits of fantasticness. They were SO good. I will totally make them again.
Thanks Taste.com.au :)

Chewy biscuit goodness.

Last Day, thank goodness

Day 7 of soup diet.

I was extremely bitter yesterday, having weighed myself and found I'd put weight ON, and I was ready to chuck in the towel. I was extremely annoyed at myself for forgetting the steak I meant to take to cook for lunch, so soup only again. I was really resenting the soup yesterday, angry at it. Which is totally irrational.

Weighed myself this morning, and I was on the same weight as the previous day, but decided to jump off, and jump on again on the off chance that the scales were incorrect.

After weighing myself again twice after that, I got a different result, which showed me having lost 2 kgs. (I checked and re-checked this figure, but it didn't change after this)
So maybe they were wrong yesterday and I shouldn't have been so discouraged. And possibly eaten KFC chips.

So I had my last soup-breakfast this morning, I poked it down my (sore?!?) throat, and I will have steamed vegetables and soup for dinner {we won't talk about lunch}, while baking ANZAC biscuits for tomorrows occassion. I will be strong and not eat any mixture, though it will be tough.

Mum says not to go nuts after we're off it, because there can be flow on losses and if we're good, we can lose another few kilos next week too, even off the soup. I think we'll be eating soup for a few days more though {with the addition of some less shit vegetables and possibly mini pasta}, the second batch has gone much...slower...than..the..first...pot...
{Due to irrational hating of soup I'm sure}

I'm really looking forward to breakfast tomorrow morning though. Bring on the eggs. Mmmm.

You know what bugs me? Reading the wrong book!

So I had just decided to give The Accidental Terrorist by Steven Lang a miss. I've felt guilty since page 35, when I stopped reading, just unable to get into it. I will never know what happened to the characters, but I don't really care, and life's too short to read bad books right?

Mostly I've been annoyed at myself for not getting into a "Literary" book. A winner of the NSW Literary Awards in 2006, I felt like I should carry on. The other reason I felt I should carry on, was I've had a bookmarked review of it sitting in my browser for god knows how long, many months at least. So as I decided to abandon it, I thought I'd have another look at the review, and see how I got it so wrong. The review was the only thing that sparked my interest, I wanted to read it at some point right?
As easy mistake though.
I wanted to read The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan, not the Accidental. Bah.
"...The Unknown Terrorist, his literary thriller about a Sydney pole dancer mistakenly pursued for being part of a terrorist plot."
I was slightly confused when I read the blurb of the Accidental Terrorist
"When Kevin returns to his home town on the southern cast of NSW he finds himself drawn to a community that lives in the hills..."
Errr......yeah...not usually the genre that would catch my eye.

Unfortunately, and I feel ashamed to admit this, but generally Australian stories don't really interest me. Especially if they're set in rural or regional Australia. I don't know whether its because its just SO different to what I'm used to, its so removed from my scope of life, that I just can't get interested.
But then, it could also be argued that my favourite genre of murder mysteries and crime thrillers are far removed from my own life experience also. And I will be the first to admit that.

Mum's got a sizeable collection of books (for the life of me cannot find the authors name) by a female writer, and they're kind of romance novels, but set in a historical context in outback Australia in colonial times. They just don't interest me at all. Not because they're romance, no no, I quite enjoy romance from time to time. Just never been keen on these ones, no matter how many times Mum suggested it when I was after a new book to read.

The only times I can be interested in Australian settings appears to be if they sit smack bang in the middle of the crime genre. Then I actually find it quite novel to read the same books I read nomally, but set in places I relate to, Vodka Doesn't Freeze for example, and the Tara Moss series with Makedde Vanderwall, a forensic student that models on the side for extra money (yep, write about what you know lol)
I mean its not a blanket ban or anything, just a general lack of interest.

So, I'm off to the Library to try to pick up the right book this time.

What about the rest of us?

Target underwear (original photo site), originally uploaded by dataceptionist.

Not surprisingly, the new Collette Dinnigan underwear line at Target doesn't feature anything higher than D size.

It really irritates me when that happens. If they do feature DD's its not until the 16's or 18s. HELLO? So I'm a freak am I? I demand the right to affordable, pretty underwear that fits me properly.

I don't think I'm really in the minority, I know lots of other big busty girls who would appreciate the market widening. Or do you think big boobs make friends with other big boobs?

In my dreams, you looked better than this...

who didn't love Vanessa Amorosi at the 2000 Olympics? She was great. She had a great voice even though she was only 13-14***, and she was managed well I think at the time, better than say, Nikki Webster.
Now?? I'm not such a fan

This is her latest single Perfect, which you may or may not have heard, and the video which you may or may not have seen.
I personally hate it. I didn't like it too much to begin with, and now, having watched it a bunch of times at the gym, I've grown to loathe how she looks in it.
I love desert scenes usually, like Delta's video for "Believe Again". But its not all encompassing, I hate "Outta my Head" by Ashlee Simpson, which has a lot of desert in it. (The tiny top hat? The stupid two looks? The ridiculous song: You tube has the names listed as "outta my head - ay ya ya ya ay". Awesomeness-blegh)

I think V.Am looks alien in this video. The wig and the beginning outfit are awful.
The chainmail LOTR dress at the end is horrid looking on her too. The close ups on her face are doing he no favours either.
Video aside, I think it would make a good wedding song though, being that its about partners beig perfect.

**Under dispute

I think it hurts the same, regardless if you watch

Had the first of the three cervical cancer vaccine shots yesterday, and I think its something every woman in the eligible age range should go and do.
Not neccessarily because I think its such an amazing cause^ or anything, but because my arm still ****ing hurts and why should I suffer alone?

^I do think this is a fantastic initiative by the government and I feel lucky it happened while I was young enough to have it free

"Inspirational" Posters

Struggling...struggling bad

Only Day 3 of Soup diet and its killing me. I'm over the soup already. (K-totally Fart Town in our house, you're right)
Totally caved last night. M & I worked a function (occassional work we do for cash), we knew it would be tough, the food always looks great. So we ate our soup before we left and we were allowed a big baked potato with butter.
Couldn't resist though, in the end I ate 4 salt & pepper squid pieces, 3 BBQ Meatballs, 2 mini pizzas and 1 mini samosa. No pies or quiches at least. *sigh*
Back to the soup.

The Sleeping Doll- Jeffrey Deaver ***/*

California Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Kathryn Dance is an expert in kinesics-the science of interpreting behaviour. It makes her a brilliant interrogator. But she's up against Daniel Pell, a master of control, who mesmerises, seduces and exploits people for his own murderous ends. A convicted killer who is known as "the Son of Manson" for the chilling parallels between him and the notorious ritual murderer. To track down Pell before he destroys yet more lives, Kathryn Dance must enlist the help of four people from the killers past. The three women who lived under his sadistic sway in the cult he once headed. And the young girl known as "the Sleeping Doll", the only survivor of her family's slaughter at Pell's hands.

Good read, Deaver is very good in ever book I've read.
Bit cautious about the front "Introducing Kathryn Dance". Deaver has become very popular with his series of Lincoln Rhyme books, a forensic specialist who happens to be a quadriplegic. Deaver's skillful portrayal of the crime balanced with the personal battle of a fantastic investigator that can't actually investigate any more. The "Introducing Kathryn Dance" leads me to believe he may wind down the Rhyme books, which I enjoy immensely. Hmmm.

This story is good, but I feel it kind of loses it at the end. It makes a small leap of faith that affects the ending, and I would have preferred a better explanation, or set-up for the twist it takes. BUT that said, Deaver is a master storyteller, and I'm intrigues enough in Dance's characterisation that I will read the ones to follow.

3.5 / 5

If you're a follower of Deaver and Rhyme already, check out this Trivia quiz on Deaver's website.

Balcony at Home

Balcony at Home, originally uploaded by dataceptionist.

Tonights storm rolling in

Click on the pic to go to more like this.

Computer dramas resolved.

Marvelous things computers. I was all set to get really annoyed when the outcome of yesterdays computer glitches was that my CPU was cactus. I was thinking to myself, "garrghhh, because I choose to use FireFox I've lost all my bookmarks and all my stufff. Grrr. My profile is still saved because its on the network though. *sigh* oh well if this CPU is to be the one I'm using now, I can download FireFox onto THIS one."

So I do, and as soon as it opened, I thought "hang on, thats the skin I had on the other CPU"
"Yay! There are all my bookmarks! Clever computers!"
I've also changed desks at work now, (hopefully permanently. I'm going to try to continually sneak all my gear upstairs gradually so my boss doesn't notice)
Its different, but in this case, a change is not as good as a holiday. Give me the Bahamas over a different desk location any day.

Soup Diet

The Hubs and I are doing the Sacred Heart Memorial Diet. This is one name for it anyway. Mum was given it by her cardiologist so it can't be all bad really. (this is M's idea also btw)
Made the soup last night, and how satsifying is chopping vegies! So much precision! So much fun!
Ok thats mad, I know, but I actually quite enojyed it. The knives were sharp and watching my pot of soup grow, I felt a bit like the guy that created Frankenstein, but without the human robot crazy factor.

  • Day 1 - Any fruit (except bananas). Cantaloupes and watermelon are lower in calories than most other fruits. Eat only soup and fruit today.
  • Day 2 -All vegetables. Eat until you are full with fresh raw, cooked or canned veggies. Try to eat green leafy veggies and stay away from dry beans, peas or corn. Eat veggies along with the soup. A baked potato and dinner time with butter. Don’t eat any fruits through today.
  • Day 3- Eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want. Do not have a baked potato.
  • Day 4 -Bananas and skim milk: Eat at least 3 bananas and drink as much milk as you can today, along with the soup.
  • Day 5-Beef and tomatoes: you may have 10 to 20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes, or as many as 6 tomatoes on this day. Eat the soup at least once today.
  • Day 6 -Beef and veggies, eat to your heart’s content of the beef and veggies today. You can even have 2-3 steaks if you like with green leafy veggies but no baked potato. Be sure to eat the soup at least once today.
  • Day 7 Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and veggies, until full (and eat the soup). You can add cooked veggies to your rice if you wish.

Only Drinks Allowed

  • Unsweetened juices
  • Tea (also herbal)
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice
  • Skim milk
  • Lots of water
So its not going to be easy toward the end. M won't find it as difficult as me though as he's got a work lunch today (Day 1) and a work thing next Wednesday (Day 6). Bah
I quite like soups like this, hope I'm not too sick of it at the end.
Here's the finished product -I normally like Cranberry Juice (its an ingredient in Ponipolitans) and I bought some from the greengrocer near work, a brand I haven't had before, and its mixed with Grape Juice. Not a fan. Back to Ocean Spray methinks.
I'll let you know how we go, the paperwork says you can lose between 10-17 lbs on it, which I think is between 4-8 Kgs. *shrug*
Wish us luck. Or thinness.

Are you worthy of your name?

Way back before I got married, I googled my name to see if anyone of my new name existed. I knew Google didn't have anything on my full maiden name (not even anything on me, having not done anything terribly meaningful in my life), so I was curious to see what I was becoming. I was rather surprised then when someone DID pop up with my soon-to-be name.
She was quite successful in her chosen occupation too by the looks of it.

We actually joined a new bank not long after we married, went into the branch to sign everything etc. They typed my name into their system with a perfunctory "have you held an account with us before" (no) and there on the next screen was about 8 women with the same first and last name as me. Difference? Every other woman would have been born in or before the 1950's. Oh and that was just accounts opened at THAT branch of this large bank.

Anyway, today I read a post on Splat! , a blog I read fairly regularly on News.com.au about "the most Famous Person with Your name". As these things happen, he decided to try and guess who the most famous "Evan" would be on Google. He was wrong, but called for everyone to give it a go with your first name only.

So I tried it, top entry was my names origin in Wikipedia, and the rest were all personal websites. I actually found on the first page, other than one lawyer, all the entries were for artists! Whether with paint or photography, I suddenly feel like I'm not living the life my name should suggest.

How about you guys? Are you living up to your names potential? Should you be pursuing a life of bird watching instead of pastry cook?

Can you guess the most famous person before you do the Search?

computer dramas

Gah sorry guys, computers at work being spazz, (one z or two?) so I've been slack on a post.
Hope to be operational eiher later today or tomorrow.
Here's a depressing and inappropriate comic for your entertainment/disgust.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Hope to have something better soon.
(Drugs are bad-See?)

Money grubbing Ebay-Update

Thankfully enough negative noise has been made regarding EBay's proposed change to Paypal only payment.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been called in to examine whether EBay is in breach of the Trade Practice Act; the act prohibits companies from imposing restrictions on people's freedom to choose whom they deal with.
Here here. Why we have to be the guinea pigs I don't know, it's only being rolled out in Oz at this stage.
If you also want to sign the petition against this change by EBay, you can find it here Over 4200 signatures to date :)

Well they're certainly provocative

And thats the intent right?
A provocative new range of T-shirts, created by Sydney-based businessmen Peter Legras and Adam Hunt, have been on sale for just a week but already they are being described as "rude and revolting" by critics.

...But Eva Cox from the Women's Electoral Lobby said the T-shirts' content spoke for itself. She said: "They're tasteless, crappy, crass and stupid and if people want to be seen as tasteless, crappy, crass and stupid, they'll wear the shirts.
"It's vulgar and nasty and encourages people to be rude and revolting. Who the hell wants to wear T-shirts like that?"

Okayyyy clearly not YOU Cox-y.

My personal favourite.
Mostly because I really wish I still worked in IT, and I hope no one would ever it directed at me!
Personally, I like slogan shirts, if they really speak to me, I consider buying them. But you know what the annoying ting about them is? They're always made for boys. I know this because even though they usually offer "Ladies Tees" this is still a T-shirt. Give me a goddam tank top!
Sigh. Fug shirts-case in point. And that website's target market is female. Bah.

Sony World Photography Awards - Some finalists

Ice cave ... Christof Pluemacher, from Germany, won a place in the abstract section finals with this image. Picture: Christof Pluemacher

Dash of colour ... Swiss photographer Terence du Fresne, won a place in the advertising finals with his shot USP Mountain. Picture: Terence du Fresne

^I love this one looks like its photoshopped.

Wallflowers ... Koray Birand, from Turkey had Widows on Set nominated as a fashion finalist. Picture: Koray Birand, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards

Get on with your knitting ... in the fashion section Dutch photographer Eunice Lievald had Don't Be So Tied and Twise. Open yourself up! shortlisted as a finalist. Picture: Eunice Lievald

In the swing ... American photographer Howard Schatz won a place in the sports section finals with RLX 003. Picture: Howard Schatz

Freeze frame ... in the science section Russian Vladimir Nefedov had his picture The Bell shortlisted. Picture: Vladimir Nefedov

You are the offspring of greatness! Act like it!

Because I know not everyone reads Mamamia and I COULD NOT let this slide.

Dear god, let it end. What is the floor writhing and thrusting? *run away*!!!

(oops, btw, "Rock The Cradle" is one of these new breeds of tv shows, not quite "reality" not quite "competition". Its a singing "contest" between the offspring of famous singers. This little sprog is from Olivia Newton John)

I'm hoping I might be rich. Maybe. Probably not though.

I'm going in the boys are work to win OzLotto tonight. $25 million split 4 ways.
Wish me luck LOL
Apparently I have more chance of being fatally stung by bees, than winning.
Anything else you think I have more chance of?

Dead and buried, but where?

I don't really talk about religion on here, save that my husband M is Catholic and I'm not (slightly ambiguous sorry) I'm an atheist and its not a problem for us.
We were at a wedding reception for M's Aunt on the weekend, and I was chatting to his cousin Lachlan and his girlfriend Jess. We ended up having one of those bizarre all around the place conversations where I ended up telling them an anecdote about discussing burial plots with M's grandparents (also his). I've grown up with only one Grandmother and her sister, my Great Aunt, and as a pair they're the closest thing to Grandparents I've ever known, its been like having two grannies. On the flipside, M has had four grandparents his whole life, and I've gotten to know them too. His father's parents were the ones we discussed burial plots with, they're very easy going and we got there in a very organic way; I didn't just come out and start talking about death and funerals. M's grandfather is also a twin, and I just couldn't resist asking them both about their viewpoints on who you get buried with. I imagine as a twin he feels a strong connection to his sister, but she's got a (deceased) husband of her own buried in another town, and he's got a lovely wife, and they seem very much in love and that they would want to spend eternity next to each other. So how do people reconcile where they're buried? My family doesn't really have family plots or anything that I know of. Mum's always said she wants to be cremated and Dad wants to be buried as far as I know, so I've never erally taken the cue from them.
So I was discussing this conversation with Lachlan and Jess, and it brought me to another topic I've always pondered upon, being the afterlife.
LOL no I don't mean in general, or something I muse about terribly often, but the one thing I've always been curious about, if when people have multiple partners, which ties into the burial plot thing too.
My maternal grandfather died when he was 47, so technically my grandmother has been a widow longer than she was even married to him for. He (I assume) is buried in the country town they lived in and he grew up in. But does that mean she will be buried there? And what would happen if she had met someone else after that? My mother was only 9 when he died, and in modern society my grandmother probably would have re-married. Her children were youngish, she had half her life still ahead of her! Which brings me to the afterlife part, if you DO re-marry, who do you spend your afterlife with?
I've always particularly wondered this about young widows/widowers. Say people that become widowed in their twenties, they're probably going to go on to love someone else just as passionately as they did their first husband. (for tidiness I'm going to stick to married couples, not life partners who I'm sure have the same dilemmas).
So we were pondering this point also, Lachlan, Jess and I (hey I said it was organic! It wasn't weird to be discussing this at a wedding until right at the end when they got that glassy-eyed look). So we're chatting, and a woman was getting a drink from the bar next to where we were standing, and she went onto say "you spend the afterlife with the person you like the most" if you have multiple life partners. Which I think beggers the question, what if YOUR most-liked-person, doesn't pick YOU as their most-liked-person???
She didn't think it mattered, they'd never know and that in their afterlife you don't care about any of that either. She actually took it as a sign that she was meant to hear our conversation, I think so she could enlighten us. I don't know about the accuracy of that, but it's certainly been food for thought since.

Co-operation....WORKING TOGETHER!

Why bicycle shorts are always Black, not RED

shoe fug. So bad

shoe fug. So bad, originally uploaded by dataceptionist.

If its difficult to see, these are gold thongs, but with covered heels with a zip at the back.
Oh god, such fug, I was so distraught to think I wouldn't get a picture, but it was ok, *phew*
I was actually sitting at footy today, on a balcony nowhere near this girl, but thanks to the trusty Nokia N95 and the zoom I discovered (I couldn't find it intially and the non-zoomed pic was woefully inadequate) I can share with you, the ridiculousness of this shoe. I mean, what did she pay for them? Why Gold?

A Fruity Drinking Idea: are cocktails the healthiest drink

Woot Woot! I'm all for this scientific research!
Quaffing a fruity drink has long been considered the girliest way to imbibe alcohol -- but now a naturopath and best-selling weight loss doctor says it's the healthiest way to down a grog.

Dr Sandra Cabot - who wrote The Liver Cleansing Diet and is an expert in women's health and weight loss - says mixing spirits with fruit increases the antioxidants the body absorbs.What's more, low carbohydrate cocktails are the best way to get drunk without getting fat.

"You actually get more of the nutritional content of the fruit when it's mixed with spirits than you would if you ate the fruit on its own," she says.

And Dr Cabot isn't just making this up -- a study done last year shows mixing berries and ethanol increases the antioxidants that scavenge free radicals absorbed from the fruit.

But is downing a fruity cocktail the equivalent of ordering a Diet Coke with a Big Mac?

Should we give up wine, beer, champers and the like for health reasons?

Dr Cabot insists that creating low-carb cocktails with spirits and fruit is the best way to drink alcohol and maintain weight loss.

"I'll probably get into trouble for saying this -- alcohol is something you should have in moderation -- but cocktails made with fruit and pure spirits can be good for you," she says.

"We've known for a long time that brandy has therapeutic benefits in terms of relaxation but if they can give you more antioxidants, then all the better.

"If people are battling with their weight, they should choose those cocktails because most other alcohol like wine and beer is high in carbohydrates. Diabetics normally complain they can't drink but a low carb cocktail shouldn't interfere with their blood sugar control."

Downing a Cosmopolitan in a slick city bar might be as dated as Sex In The City repeats, but mixing pure spirits -- tequila, vodka, gin, whisky, rum -- with fruit (not sugar) and creating low carb cocktail is the key, according to Cabot.

"MY sister used to be a bartender in New York and she came up with all these low carb cocktail recipes for a book we did together. It's easy and it's healthy."

The New York Times has reported that healthy cocktail bars are a hot new food trend - read it here - and some women are buying cocktails instead of eating vegies for dinner.

Posted by Alex May (SMH)
March 28, 2008 12:39 PM

Ok that last bit? Substituting vegetables for dinner for cocktails? Thats a stretch guys. I'm not advocating that at all. I do take calories into account when I'm drinking now. At least I can pretend (to myself) I'm not drinking empty calories if I drink vodka + fruit juice. I also quite enjoy the low carb/low calorie wine and champagne that's around now.

Now, bring on the Ponipolitans!

Conundrum Update

She asked me yesterday if I'd started the book, so I panicked and said I was half way through and it was strange. "very confronting concepts" I said.
Then this morning she had this big chat to me about a Japanese scientist who reckons you can change the composition of water by praying over it.
Hmmmm.....is the coffee worth it?

I'm so vain... yes this song is about me

I'm quite vain.
Main Entry:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, empty, futile, from Latin vanus — more at wane
14th century
1: having no real value : idle, worthless <vain pretensions>
2: marked by futility or ineffectualness : unsuccessful, useless <vain efforts to escape>
3 archaic : foolish, silly
: having or showing undue or excessive pride in one's appearance or achievements : conceited

Well I wouldn't class myself as textbook vain (or ^Vanity Smurf^ vain), it doesn't take me 2 hours to leave the house or anything, but I always look at myself in plate glass windows and/or mirrors when I'm walking around.
There are several shop fronts in our business park that fit the bill for this exercise, and as I walk to get my coffee in the morning (or lunch, or the mail or.....), I always check how I look, whether I chose the right thing to wear.
Its almost compulsive, I can't help it!
Often I worry that the staff in the shops are saying "oh yeah its that girl again, checking herself out, AGAIN"
Or maybe they're making faces at me behind the glass and I'm so absorbed with the reflection I'm not looking through the glass.
Hmm I wonder if this wears off?

Is it Blue too?

Whee! Thanks to Ms Fits of "Reasons You Will Hate Me" (aka Marieke Hardy of Triple J)

We have what Hill wore during Bill's teary confession, which we speculated about here
Interestingly, this could either be sea green, OR bad lighting and the light blue featured in the Dress Code for Shame for ladies. Damn can't see Bill's tie.
Don't they look more emotional than the two latest victims? Hillary looks really upset (and paunchy in the face)

Bloody money grubbing Ebay

A new system of payment will be introduced to Ebay as of June this year. Well actually, all other forms of payment will be removed I should say. After June 17, you will only be able to pay via PayPal on Ebay, unless you're picking the item up from the seller, in which case you can pay cash.
For me, this sucks.
I usually only buy really cheap stuff on ebay, and as one commenter pointed out, these cheap items will disappear, as the seller will cop not only Ebay listing fees, but PayPal fees also.
They talk all about this Buyer Protection crap, but essentially its a money making exercise and they're just trying to indemnify themselves against future problems with bank deposits.

Fug Madness has crowned its queen

That woman, is Bai Ling. I love bat shit crazy Bai Ling, as previously covered, I'm so pleased she won. Yay.
Below, a tribute of fug, there's some sort of in joke with the music, I think it would have lent itself well to the Chariots of Fire song.

Its a touch long, but worth it.
Also, for those of you dying to read her blog, see -> Hello.
Very strange reading.

Wedding Q & A -Pt2

Hey PrincesseEmma!
Ding ding! Round 2 lol. This got out of hand in the comment section of this post so I've done a post.

Did you enjoy planning the wedding?
Umm, loaded question with many answers. Yes & no. In retrospect I did, but I didn't have a whole lot of a job I was doing at the time so I was able to surf the net and look for stuff all day, and sit on the forums (as above) all day. This was possibly a negative though as it meant I became consumed with the wedding. I enjoyed part of its but it was quite stressful. Which brings us to...

What was the most stressful part?

On the leadup to the wedding?

- we ended up culling a few people that were bordering on friend/acquaintance lines, I handled it really badly unfortunately, I should have been upfront about it. It gets a bit messy and a bit sticky when you first get engaged you end up with lots of excited well-meaning (female) acquantainces that you talk lots of "wedding" to. As a result, come invite time you've talked heaps about your wedding to them, and its almost like you owe them an invite, when under normal circumstances you might not even invite them to your birthday. So we had a few friends like that who we did invite and they've never forgiven us. One couple will barely speak to me and be civil, the other two couples are tight lipped but polite. With the appalling behaviour in the aftermath though, we made the right decision.
Cars- I really wanted them but they were just TOO xpensive and we couldn't justify the costs because we had 10 in our bridal party. This still causes me grief.
Shopping for the best price for something you've already decided on. This gets so tedious and irritating.
Gift Registry wasn't stressful but it was possibly one of the most boring parts.

After the Wedding- The Photography.
I was SO unhappy with the photography, we completely misread our photographer and his style and we didn't feel he captured us at all. I really wanted breathtakingly beautiful photos, and thats not really what we got. I know they exist because I've seen them. *sigh*
This is a personal pain though, because no one else seems to see it.

Did you feel different once you were married?
Gushy part!
I love being married I think its fantastic, and I defintely think it feels different in a positive way. Personally I feel its different to dating or being engaged even. Well, for me the engagement was just a transitional period anyway, we were only engaged for 8 months between question and wedding day.
The thing I discovered was most different was after we got married there was a sense of relaxation. Its hard to describe but I realised I'd just naturally stopped thinking of things in our life with a shelf life or finite in any way. And it literally didn't happen until after we got married.
Its this feeling that makes me horrified at the idea of people getting divorced, that gut-wrenching realisation that the other person wasn't feeling that way, and the idea of your cocoon of bliss being ripped away from you by the person you love.
I just feel an innate permanency with marriage, the feeling that this person will be there forever now, and you can always rely on them.
I don't know if others feel this way, but theres a beautiful finality to marriage I feel.

Phew! Not pregnant.

Not at this inconvenient moment in time anyway.

Conundrum! HELP!

In a bit of a pickle at the moment. (lol pun)
The barista at my local work cafe has recommended a book to me which you may have noticed in the sidebar, Fit For Life. We were discussing eating habits one day after I asked if she would know how many calories are in one of her homemade muffins.
She then proceeded to tell me that she would lend me a book that had changed her life regarding her own eating habits. She doesn't really need to worry about her eating I should mention, she's training for a marathon so she can eat whatever she wants pretty much.
Anyway so she brought the book in, and I started reading it, except that I thought it was a bit hinky right away. The basic premise of the idea is that its not a fad diet, because "Diets don't Work" (give them credit, it was written in 1985) The cover of the one I have says
It waffles on a bit about how its a way of eating for the rest of your life and then goes on to say you can only eat fruit before 12 noon and then mostly vegetables after. Hmm.....if it smells like a fad?
So I decided to Google it and find some more info, and found without any trouble a bunch of articles about how its all crap and its been debunked by Nutritionists and others in the field.. Eek!
So I'm not going to bother reading any more of it, but what do I tell my coffee friend now? How do I tell her the eating plan she revers so much is all hocus pocus?

Lirritants (get it?)

I've posted before on my annoyance of blurbs that bear no resemblance to the actual story.

Some other things that annoy me in literature:

Retelling the entire backstory in the first chapter in a series. This annoys me because if you haven't read the series, I don't think you deserve to have all the past spoonfed to you. Look pal, I did the hard yards and read the first 2/3 books, buck up and stop trying to muscle in on my series! Its all too Baby-sitters Club for me, where you could literally skip the entire first chapter as Ann. M. Martin told you all about how Kristy was the tomboy and Claudia loved berets and kept junk food hidden all over her bedroom.

Giving away the entire backstory when reading "stand alone" books.
(Leading me to...)
Too much
backstory in books that are meant to be stand alone books.
This one has annoyed me a lot recently. I read(v) several authors in the same genre regularly, so I can see how this works and who can do it effectively, and who's cocking it up.

James Patterson- The Alex Cross series has been running for some years now, its a series. Unintentionally, but that's just how it is now. They started out fairly well, in the stand alone sense, but readers were crying out for more about the main character, Detective Cross, not just his exploits. Patterson also took the route where his lead detective wasn't just solving the crimes, he became a target of the killers. This will always take you down the road of having to delve right into the background and life of your main character. In the case of Cross, the death of his wife Maria before you meet Cross in the first book. Patterson has resuscitated his killers a few times too, so you can't just pick up the latest book (IMHO) and get all the info. Personally I think Patterson has painted himself creatively into a corner with this series, there's only so much one Detective can take in a lifetime.
Patterson has another series, the Women's Murder Club which I've spoken about before. This started as a series, making it different to the Cross series, and Patterson has learny from his previous mistakes, this series has 4 main characters technically, with the action mostly narrated from one of the women, but it leaves options for the future.
I think Patterson is arguably the most successful Crime Thriller writer in the market today because of his success at getting a whole different series off the ground in addition to the original Cross, and stand alone books on top.

I've just finished another book (see here) where the writer has ended up writing a series, it cannot be classed as anything else, because she's ended up with all the characters with all the action happening to them personally, so for that you need motivation, you need backstory the whole way.
It was a good book, but its begun to annoy me because I think they should be advertised as books that need to be read in order. This is something Fantasy and Sci-Fi do well, that Crime Fiction is really lagging in.

I know it can work when they don't tell you the backstory. I remember buying a book by an author I liked, Anne Rice, at the time. It was the third book by memory of a series, and I didn't get any of it, right from the first few pages. I didn't understand the story, it literally felt like I'd walked into the middle of a conversation and the speaker didn't pause at all for me. I ended up putting the book back down again, and read soemthing else. Eventually though I read the first books before the one I owned, and when I made it back to that book, it all made sense and I could power through. It was a fantastic series in the end.

/end rant.

I love Wikipedia

Every time I read something factual on the internet, I try to remind myself to cross reference it, so I don't end up spouting facts out of my ass with no backup (bad habit of mine).
It doesn't always pan out that way, I have been known to go out half-cocked and be wrong.
Something I find particular trouble with, in this tech-savvy world I'm much more likely to be reading something written overseas, and I don't neccessarily always understand the context in which its written.
Now Wikipedia I think is what teachers always used to refer to (in theory) when I was in High School as "don't use Internet references, they aren't always accurate"
I don't think Wikipedia existed when I was at school, but there was a lot of false and misleading information out in the web, and it was always more secure to go and visit the trusty Library to get your source matieral.
Now, if I was at school, I wouldn't dream of using textbooks for sources (unless I had access to a University Library I guess) because the information printed in books can sometimes be outdated before the ink has even dried on the page.
The internet has changed the face of Information gathering, because it can be so much more trustworthy nowdays.
Now I'm not claiming that Wikipedia is unimpeachable in his accuracy, its greatest strength is its one downfall, in that anyone can edit an entry after registering with Wiki. This has been raked over the coals on more than one occassion after misuse. It can mena though, that through collaborative effort, each article is more accurate than if one person writes the whole thing.

Ten years ago, if you were watching an international sitcom, or reading a book, and the characters shared a joke about something that they don't have in Australia, unless you had a friend native to the country of origin, to ask what the pop culture reference meant, you would stay none the wiser. With Wikipedia, this irritation is no more! If I find something online or in a book, I can go straight to Wikipedia for a relatively simply definition of the thing/service/store.
Being a big reader, it has taken me years to figure out what Wal-Mart, Denny's, Wendy's etc are in America. While it won't change my life, figuring out the context in which stores are mentioned helps shape the narrative.
The real fantastic thing about Wikipedia however, is that it doesn't stop at just places or things, you can figure out pop culture through Wikipedia too.
Eg, Paris Hilton, if you've been living under a rock, and can't figure out what all the fuss is, here are some quotes from her page on Wikipedia
This article is about the American socialite. Hilton has worked as a model, actress, musician, and businesswoman.[5] According to Forbes Magazine, she earned approximately $2 million in 20032004,[6] $6.5 million in 2004–2005,[7] and $7 million in 2005–2006.[8]
A four-year-old homemade sex video of Hilton and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon was leaked on the Internet in 2003, later released as the DVD 1 Night in Paris despite attempted legal action. Paris Hilton has been quoted as saying that she is the "iconic blonde of the decade"' and compared herself to Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe (a claim she denied in the May 2007 issue of Harper's Bazaar).[69] She will reportedly appear in the 2007 Guinness World Records as the world's "Most Overrated Celebrity".[70] In a poll conducted by the Associated Press and AOL, Hilton was voted the second "Worst Celebrity Role Model of 2006", behind Britney Spears.[71] Critics suggest that Hilton epitomizes the title of famous for being famous;[72] echoing that sentiment, the Associated Press conducted what they called an experiment in February 2007, trying not to report on Hilton for a whole week.[73]
So this information would give you an idea of what a passing reference to Paris Hilton might mean.
I recently decided I would try to figure out what Craigslist was. Now, if you just go to the Craigslist website, it is a weird looking list of categories. That doesn't really help me figure out what it's place in American culture is. When I go Wikipedia though, the top line of the article is a quick description or definition of what you're viewing :
Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics.
Yay! I can choose to continue reading, or be satisfied I finally know what this thing is.
Another page I found particularly satisfying was when I was trying to verify an email forward about Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. I ended up finding the information in the forward was factual, without having to pay a cent. This is another of Wikipedia's strengths, its available in multiple languages, and is a global effort, so its not just American, it has Australian topics, English topics, ranging from people, to retail stores, to places to things.

This is why I love Wikipedia, you can find anything, anywhere. ( To date there are 2,322,782 articles in English)
I firmly beleive everything on Wikipedia should be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm still a massive fan.
Has anyone else found anything particularly useful or obscure on Wikipedia?

And the Oscar Oops, Logie goes to...

Finally some Gold Logie Nominees I can get behind and possibly get interested in at the Logies!
Too often its like the 50 year old housewives of Australia have done the nominations, and its great to see a real cross section of programs across the nominees this year, instead of McLeod's Daughters, Home & Away and a couple of other randoms, usually including Bert Newton.

This years nominees:

There's a wonderfully strong ABC contingent, Enough Rope, Spicks & Specks, Summer Heights High, which shows they're finally creating better Australian content, and we're finally watching it.
I think Kate Richie will win it, mostly because she has finally left H&A after 20 years, moving to radio.
I also think its great that comedians like Adam Hills and Chris Lilley are being recognised, I really am tickled pink at this years line up, and I only hope that someone other than Rove, Lisa McCune or Kate Richie win (despite their talents), as they're all multiple winners from previous years, let someone else have a go.
Of course, this doesn't mean I'll watch the Logies of course.

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