reading is a hoot

Oh hai! How was your weekend? Mine was good. I discovered this place where they will let you take books out and you can read them. For free. Yes, I am quite disturbed to say I have never joined my local library the entire time I’ve been in Australia. I know, poor form. So I wandered down to join my suburban book depository, and there I found the Tiniest Library Ever. Seriously, it was like someone’s back room with some books in it. And way more DVDs and magazines than books, even. Oh, and children’s books, but I’ve no problems with that. Why so few books? And, once I started browsing, why ALL THE SAME books over and over again? How many copies of Diana Gabaldon do you need? (and I hasten to add, I love a red-heided Scotsman as much as the next girl, but a whole shelf? Really? When there’s only like 200 shelves in total?) Although I have to say that when I last went to the library, they didn’t email you to tell you when your books were due. I heartily endorse this use of technology, especially the part which tells you the names of the books you’ve taken out. For those of us who might, um, forget.

Speaking of books, I got my hair cut on Friday and I remembered to take a book so that I didn’t have to read painfully stylish fashion magazines (say what you will, there’s not a lot of actual reading to be had out of Vogue). I took “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, which I just bought in its reincarnation as an orange Penguin, for just this sort of occasion. However, apparently bringing a BOOK, with WORDS, was the most fascinating thing to have happened in that place for weeks. Other customers were staring at me with outright fascination. Every stylist that touched my head just HAD to ask me about it. Sadly, very few knew the book; a select few knew the movie, but most just looked interested. Or pretended to, at any rate. Then again, the average age of the stylists would have been 22, and I don’t know how much “history” these young people learn. Whereas I, 10 miles, in the snow, both ways, don’t know the meaning of hard work, etc. I don’t know if I’ve written this here, but a previous time I went here for a cut I asked for about 2 inches off the bottom. The young stylist looked at me wraptly, like I was speaking a foreign language. “Well, how much do you think I should cut off?” I asked worriedly. She brightened, and said, “Um, about five centimetres?” Bless.

grr….rrr?

So when I told Mr. T about my dream (aka harangued him about his selfish behaviour) he laughed his head off and accused me of stopping him from following his dreams. Which were, quite literally, MY dreams, but whatever. And he looked all shifty about the $24 grand and won’t tell me where it is. The thing is, the note in the dream actually named the bank, but I CAN’T REMEMBER. Oh the irony.

Other than that, my car has been having odd electrical problems for a few weeks. Occasionally the electric windows wouldn’t work, and then once it started raining (which it hasn’t done for months), I discovered that when the windows wouldn’t work, the wipers didn’t work either. I had to turn the engine off and then on again to get everything to work, which is a bit difficult when, say, driving down the freeway. I meant to book it in this week but then this morning, backing into my parking space at work, I noticed the lack of brake lights reflecting off the concrete wall behind me. Oh. Great. Obviously I took the car down to be serviced today (after sitting in my parking building turning my car on and off, on and off, on and off until finally the electrics caught and held…) and when told the year and make of my car, the technician said, “oh yeah. They do that sometimes. It’s the ignition switch.” THANK YOU HERE IS TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. I used to love my car but it is rapidly tipping away from Benign Mode Of Transportation towards Money Pit.

Oh here it is, funnily enough, on rainy Saturday. However I draw your attention to the Ikea roller blind in the window above it. Does it look sort of… aerated… to you? Like, for example, a little grey weasel has been CHOMPING on it? Even though he has toys and a brother to chomp on instead? THEY DO IT TO TORMENT ME.

grrr

Yesterday Mr. T pissed me off, so I went to bed annoyed with him. He left the house at 6.30am this morning and woke me up by mistake, which made me angry again (and he’d left early to volunteer for bushfire cleanup at Kinglake, which makes me HORRIBLE as well as ANGRY). Anyway, I went back to sleep and had this very real dream in which I found a note telling me he’d left me to go back to New Zealand to follow his dream of becoming a professional surfer. I was INFURIATED. Where the hell did this surfing thing come from when he hasn’t been on a surfboard in 15 years? How could he leave me to deal with the dog and the cats and the MORTGAGE while he pisses off and does what he wants? Eventually I woke up at some point and realised it was a dream, but it didn’t matter because I was SO ANNOYED at his STUPIDITY. In my DREAM. I even knew that in several hours this would be funny, but NOT RIGHT NOW OMG I AM SO ANGRY.

And now it is several hours later and yes, it is funny. Now. Just. I still plan to yell at him about it though. And also ask some serious questions about the mysterious $24,000 mentioned in the note (which he was planning to live off, you know, while surfing). This number seems strangely specific, so WHERE IS THIS DREAM MONEY I MUST KNOW.

campering

Oh hai! It was a long weekend here in Victoria (Labour Day, or something… I don’t really care as long as I don’t have to work on Mondays) and we went bush. We had a wedding to attend, deep in fire country.

Bushfires are capricious and temperamental things. Often as we drove, one side of the road was completely burnt out, while the other side was calm and green. On this particular stretch, the canopy on both sides was intact while the trunks and ground were charred black. The fire jumped the road, or stayed on one side, or both. Houses were lost in this area (but no lives). The wedding was held at the groom’s parents’ farm, and they had beat back the fires from their boundaries. The wedding itself was held in the garden which was in perfect condition, through their determination to save it. But turn 180 degrees, and not 50 metres away a sea of black trunks and dead leaves stretched away up the hill.

We arrived early and set up camp before the wedding, in the top paddock on charred ground where the ground was hard and dusty and tiny crickets jumped everywhere. As we were blowing up our airbed with someone’s air compressor, we both felt uneasy. Something was wrong. What was it? Mr. T figured it out… it was the airbed. Our airbed was red! And this airbed was blue! Which means… this airbed was our OLD airbed, which was replaced by the red airbed because… oh it’s all coming back now… the blue airbed was badly punctured. Yes. It’s all so clear now, three hours from home. We blew it up anyway and hoped it would hold.

This is the next morning. We haven’t taken the plugs out yet. Luckily for me, I am much smaller than Mr. T and all the air that was in the airbed came my way as he sunk gracefully to the ground. Unluckily for me, there was nowhere near enough air to sustain me all night and all too soon I was grounded also. Thankfully our sleeping bags are quite fluffy; but sleeping on the ground is not part of the Fun Of Camping. In my opinion.

After the wedding we drove further down the coast and camped at Bear Gully, in Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. Beautiful, and no bears. UNLESS YOU MEAN….

Koala bears! I have been in Australia for seven years and camped all over Victoria and this is my first wild koala. Very excited that it was such a fat, juicy specimen as this. We also saw heaps of birds and some ring-tailed possums (I like the ringtails, it’s just the brushtails which must DIE DIE) but I’ve seen lots of those. Not quite so close, and not quite so interested in my dinner, but lots.

How was your weekend?

it thinks it’s people!

Whee, we just had an earthquake. What, the bushfires weren’t enough? Richter scale 4.3 : enough to make our whole house shake and the cat bowls clink together, but not enough to make us RUN RUN DIVE for cover. In fact I don’t even think the cat on Mr. T’s lap woke up. I say again, it is a FALLACY that animals can sense earthquakes. My animals, anyway. Maybe I just get non-psychic ones. Typical.

Eggs for the dog (I had just bought a dozen fresh ones so these had to go).
One is free-range, the others are not. But they’re all happy!

tappity

OMG! Look at me posting-posting-typing-posting. Mr. T and I do a thing where whenever one of us is typing, the other of us pretends to type dramatically on their own keyboard while tsk-ing with a lip-smacking type noise to imitate the tapping of the keys. (It’s our roundabout way of making fun of the other person for contributing to the internet, instead of just passively reading it LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO.) I realise you didn’t need to know that, but I find I do it to myself when I’m typing now, which is slightly sad. Just imagine me sitting here typing more animatedly than normal, sounding like Skippy the kangaroo. (I hope you know the noise I mean otherwise I’m going to seem strange. MORE strange, I mean.)

I just deleted a sentence about the weather. You’re welcome.

I’m not deleting stuff this about the cats, though. Especially not since I’ve discovered how to add borders to the photos (and how to NOT add borders to the other images, which was eleventy-times harder).

You sleep WEIRD. That cannot be comfortable.

I AM PROTECTED FROM DEMONS.

quack

Well, I quite like my new digs. It’s cozy, I like my new dashboard where I can see if people have linked to me (I had to go into stats to see that in Blogger! Do you know how often I look at my stats? Pretty much never) and I like that comments turn up there too. I like the plugins and although I am sorry to lose my fish-footman pic, I will find a way to put him back in. Having said that, I never had a problem with Blogger; it’s just the comments thing. I don’t care about your damn machine embroidery! And I am extrememly unlikely to consider buying a commercial machine, good sir! I delete you! (I am hearing this in a John Cleese type voice, I’m not sure about you.) Speaking of, I have the Monty Python page-a-day desk calendar thing at work, and it is highly amusing to revisit Monty Python. I have to say, it has gone missing several times as co-workers have taken off with it to read. Curse them! I shall send the Hell’s Grannies after them!

Other than that, things here are fine. We took the Brown Dog for a walk around the local lake on Sunday, since it was a bit cooler and he was unlikely to overheat and, you know, die on us. He’s quite a big dog and neither of us want to lug his heavy corpse back to the car, so we tend not to take him out on blisteringly hot days. So, as we were wandering round the lake, we saw another big dog on the path coming in the opposite direction towards us; part of a family on bikes. Mr. T and the Brown Dog were half off the path anyway, deeply interested in some trees (although I doubt it was Mr. T so much) so they just kept going into the brush. As the family barrelled along, ringing their bells madly (that safety message has got through loud and clear, I tell you) the father called out “Thanks so much!” He was riding his bike with one hand and hanging on to a Great Dane puppy with the other, and she was very lovely – jet black and pricked ears and gangly legs – and she was VERY interested in where the Brown Dog had gone. Ah, the joy of puppies. I don’t know how she went with the waterbirds on the other side of the lake, but if she’s anything like the Brown Dog, that guy would have come very close to a swim.

Oh hai birdies!

I can has birdies?

“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,

  • Reading:
    Stuff On My Cat: the book. I mean, it doesn’t have any WORDS, but it counts.
  • Listening:
    Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend. On constant rotate in my car.
  • Watching:
    Slumdog Millionaire. I liked it.
  • Eating:
    Le Petit Ecolier biscuits… mmmm, little schoolboys. Wait, that seems very wrong.
  • Liking:
    Online backups. I feel all prepared, like a Boy Scout.
  • Pondering:
    Just how close are my cats getting to the neighbour’s aviary? This might be important.