Five for Friday

  • Semester 1 is officially over – all my assignments are submitted, and I don’t have any responsibilities until July 29th, when Semester 2 starts up.  XD
  • With Semester 1 done, I have a pile of books loaded on my mother’s iPad (ack, I thought I was totally sold on the iPad, but then I saw the Samsung Note, with the stylus and the drawing, and the possibility of watching DVDs and drawing simultaneously… :love:!) and plans to work on my digital drawing. If I can afford it, I might buy a sketch book just to work on practicing my anatomy drawing.
  • Supanova, the Australian Pop Culture convention, is in Sydney next weekend! My sister and I have tickets for both days, and I’ve saved up some money to pick out some nerd gear! :D Hoping for the Despicable Me 2 Agnes Pop Vinyl figure, some Nintendo 1-Up Mushroom socks… and a ton of Sailor Moon gear.  :marryme: Last year, I only bought a packet of playing cards and some stickers, so this year I think I might splurge a little.
  • My internet is ready to go… except my modem has arrived. Despite the phone monkey telling me that my modem was ordered and would be delivered, and we’d pay for it at the end of the month with the cost of my internet plan, it wasn’t. So, I wait – which was almost disastrous when I finishing off my assessment  :tantrum:
  • With my desk, chair and modem (on order :cranky:), the last things I need for my apartment are a proper fridge (I’m using my uncle’s bar fridge from the late 80s, early 90s… not exactly the most efficient piece of machinery), a nightstand, a microwave, an ottoman (the one I have my eyes on folds out into a single bed, which is perfect for when my mother or sister stay) and half a dozen lamps. My apartment is so terribly dark. I never noticed how expensive lamps were until I started shopping for some.

NaBloPoMo: Books, Books, Books!

Monday, November 19: If you had to get locked in some place (book store, amusement park, etc) overnight alone, where would you choose to be locked in?

Book shop. The odds are that the bookshop has somewhere comfortable to sit or curl up. There’s a chance they’ll have a coffee shop for drinks and snacks but if they don’t, who cares? Endless books. You’d have to pry me out screaming. After I totally presented the manager with a list of books they really should have had in weeks ago, and I am not amused.

If it were Kinokuniya in Sydney, oh man. Not only books, but endless art supplies? It would be heavenly. It would have to be ‘locked in over a weekend’, because I would be the happiest person in the world if I were stuck in there.

NaBloPoMo: Five Things

  • Just finished off American Horror Story’s new episode. It’s too over the top to be truly good television, in my mind, but I am fascinated by asylums during that era. Tonight’s episode caught me unawares. Yikes. There’s a reason I watch this show during daylight hours, with a cheery episode of Modern Family or Glee to follow.
  • My dehydration and general misery over the last week? It turned out to be a nasty stomach bug. That was a relief on so many levels, except the pills I had to take have left this weird, dirty-metal taste in my mouth. It is pissing me off so much. I absolutely loathe and detest both chewing gum and peppermint flavouring, but I might have to grab a packet of peppermint gum tomorrow before I talk to anyone.
  • Today was a Bad Day online. Just a lot of little bits and pieces that ticked me off.
  • Tomorrow, Sydney for my Portfolio Review at SCA. I am so out of my league, seriously. I draw little cartoon magical girls. What I do is kind of anime inspired, simply because I found the anime art style as an easy way to draw anatomy in an aesthetically-pleasing way, without actually knowing anything about anatomy. :Fake it ’til you make it XD It’s not intended to look anime-esque. So, I am freaking terrified.  :huh:
  • I am 11 books short of my secondary-reading goal for the year – my original goal was 50 books in a year, but I surpassed that ages ago and went for 100 books in a year, even though it’s technically 100 books in 10 months, since I didn’t start the challenge until March 1 (yes, one of my non-profitable skills is being a super-fast reader. I can read three books in a day, if I don’t do much else. So, eleven books shouldn’t be too big a deal, as long as I can find more books I want to read (I do have Alice in Zombieland lined up after Want, which I plan to start tonight.)

NaBloPoMo: Good Bye 24

Today was my last day as a twenty-four year old.

That is crazy. I feel exactly the same as I did at twenty-two. God, twenty-five. I feel old and like I’m running out of time but I’m only twenty-five. Is this how everyone feels? That they turn around one day and BAM, feel like time has just evaporated? That all those mundane things you do every single day add up to years and  years?

That’s about as philosophical as I get. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between feelings and thoughts that are totally normal and feelings and thoughts that are because of my anxiety. Mostly it’s just plain noisy in my head.

I was actually very productive for my last day as twenty-four year old. Perhaps I’ve finally evolved to be fastidious and neat? A shame I still seem to be a complete paper hoarder. Seriously, I refuse to throw out even the tiniest or oldest drawing. But a massive spring clean was in order for the day – one enormous bag of garbage, and everything has been dusted, organised. It’s… actually kind of creepy.

I also got another 2,000 words of my Nanowrimo done. I’m hoping to get at least another 1,000 words done tonight. Other than that, I’ve got an episode of Criminal Minds and some art to upload to Deviantart. I’m hardcore, aren’t I?

I feel like I should write something deep, to remember twenty-four when I’m reading this blog in years to come. Twenty four: the year before you went to Sydney. After being sick for four months and two hospital visits, you’re okay with no real reason. Er, it might be because your father lived at home all year. Mia finished uni. You lost Dominic and Molly. Mia got Mabel. You love, love, loved The Legend of Korra. Your art sucked less this year than ever before. You started your giant directory of future book ideas. You read a lot of books – good ones, bad ones and offensive ones. You start cooking lessons. You loved Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl from Nightmares, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and you finally finished Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events.

 So long, twenty-four. I liked you okay and I’m sorry you have to go. You taught me stuff that’s useful but some things happened that… well, sucked. Put a good word in for me with twenty-five, okay?

NanoWrimo Word Count: 12,077/50,000

NaBloPoMo: Five Things that Need to Exist

  1. A Hilary Duff singing game for the Wii.
  2. A Sims 3 expansion pack focusing on medical things – broken limbs, accidents, illness.
  3. A second Professor Layton film
  4. A Dead or Alive movie sequel
  5. A cover for the swimming pool that you can skate on in the summer.
Nanowrimo isn’t going too badly – I’m a little bit ahead, but not as ahead as I would like to be. I have decided that 30 entires rambling about how my Nanowrimo project is going was liable to bore me, so I’ll be posting about every little, random thing just for fun XD

Tomorrow, my parents and I are headed to Sydney – I’m getting my hair cut, plus I am hoping to see the inside of Kinokuniya, and pick up my copies of the new Avatar: the Last Airbender comic book, and the last Sailor Moon manga issues.

Hope everyone is enjoying November!

Daily Word Count: 4,556/50,000

A Day in Sydney

We – and by ‘we’, I mean my entire family – drove down to Sydney for the day yesterday. My sister was seeing Hanson in concert last night, and my mother was going with her. I went down for the day because I felt like it (well, originally, I thought I might have to get my Mac Mini repaired at the Genius Bar. But it seems to be running okay. I was wondering if I should have it looked over before my Apple Care expires but, huffah!, it apparently doesn’t expire until April 2014!) My father needed to go to Sunday Morning Hell, known to mere mortals as Ikea (I have several problems with Ikea, one being that Australians are usually charged twice as more for their ‘inexpensive’ furniture. I dislike having to pay $300 for a desk when the US pays $100. The dollar is pretty much equal, and Ikea has admitted that they only compete with ‘the local market’. Combine that with all the people who wander around Ikea for no reason, and it’s an experience that makes me want to smuggle alcohol in.)

 So, Mum and I got dropped off in the city (my sister opted to go with my father to Ikea to look at bookshelves) and we had a lovely time. I tried on a pair of summer sandals by Ted Baker (like things, but with a strap around the heel). They only had the black and white in stock, plus I’m thinking I’ll go up a size. And ordering them from the UK – with shipping – is still $15+ less than buying them in store. We went to Kinokuniya, and I nabbed Sailor Moon #6 (Chibiusa! Pink!) and Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise #2! as well as A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper, which looks interesting. There were tons of books I would have loved, but I am so, so broke (still job hunting) and I can’t afford $20-$30 for a book (especially when there’s a lovely Australian online bookstore which sells them for roughly half price. Paying retail gives me hives.)

After that, we went to a Sushi Train and shared two plates of salmon sashimi (it was like butter, oh my gosh, I could have had three plates of it by myself!), sushi rolls (made with avocado, sweet omelette and cucumber – normally I hate cucumber) and tempura prawns. It was so yummy – definitely going back next time we’re in Sydney; and going early – last time we went at 2:30pm, and they were no longer adding things to the train and the choices weren’t as delicious.

We made an attempt to go to the new La Duree store, but it was crazy – at least 100 people lined up and waiting. I would have loved, loved, loved some of their macaroons but we didn’t have time to wait. So we went to Bon Bons Chocolates instead, and Mum treated us both to a chocolate out of the glass case (hers had an amarina cherry in the middle, mine had almond and raspberry cream. It was mind blowing) and nabbed some cocoa-dried-cherries and mini-chocolate frogs.

We also picked up two small Christmas gifts – one for my sister, and a stocking-stuffer for me. We tried out some Bose headphones, and my mother was amazing (she’s been using the Apple earbuds. I’ve had a pair of Bose that I got on sale five years ago, that are pretty beat up. A new pair is on my birthday list! We peeked into Gorman in the Galleries Victoria and drooled over… well, everything. We walked passed the new Samsung store, and yes, it is terribly reminiscent of the Apple Store, and not in a good way. In a ‘nyah-nyah’ kind of way.

And on the way to the hotel my mother and sister were staying at, we had a peek in Tiffany and Co! I’ve put aside my birthday and Christmas money for several years, plus a gift card from my parents, to save up for a silver Tiffany Key necklace. They are just so beautiful. Next time Mum and I are in Sydney, I’m going to pick it out, I think. There were so many lovely things there.

Then we headed to the hotel, and had a cocktail each whilst we waited for my sister and father to appear. We watched the hotel set up some serious security (police sweeping the bathrooms with bomb and metal detectors! That rattled me quite a bit) along with an xray machine. It was crazy. Something big must have been happening in the ballroom.

After that, my father and I headed home to some Thai take away and Thor on DVD.

I love going to Sydney for the day. Just hope I have a little more spending money next time.

An Accidental Haircut

I seem to be missing at least 35% of my hair. Tres dramatic, aren’t I? XD

I had my first haircut on Wednesday in 18 months. It was bad – my hair, that is. It looked like a dead marsupial. The bottom eight inches, roughly, were dried out and dead, covered in split ends and just plain horrible. I looked like a Mormon Sister Wife or some sort of horrible cult member. So, Mum and I went to Sydney and I got my haircut (a friend of my mother’s owns the most awesome salon in Chatswood).

I knew that I’d have to have a lot cut off, since it was so ratty, but wow. It’s all gone. It used to fall to my butt, now it falls to my bust. It’s shiny and soft and layered around my face, but I feel so naked and light. I’m happy but kind of agitated. I’m still planning on growing it long and dip-dying it this summer.

Mum and I splurged a little in Sydney – she got a pair of orange jeans, some boots and a bottle of perfume she’s been looking for for ages. I got a lipstick (Chanel, palest pink and slightly shimmery – it’s half lipstick, half gloss and beautiful!), a Momiji doll for my collection (the white and gold angel ‘Robin’ from 2010) and three books – Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale, Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen and a signed copy of Coraline by Neil Gaiman (for anyone interested, they had a stack of signed copies on a shelf for fifteen dollars. I thought that was a pretty cool thing to own, especially since I’ve wanted to read Coraline for awhile now.) Tragically, I’ve read them all in two days and now I need to put in a book order because I am obsessed with reading at the moment. I’ve always loved it, but right now I’m just desperate for more and more books.

And now for a tres exotic Saturday night – pjs, the iPad and watching the Melbourne Comedy festival, then early to bed. It’s such an exciting life  :lol:

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Program …

It seems that April has snuck up on me. 2012 seems to be happening on fast-forward, honestly.  I turn around and eleven days of April are already gone. We’ll call it an unscheduled blogging break and keep going from here, okay?  -_-*

Life is kind of strange at the moment. I went to Sydney with my mother, overnight, and stayed in my sister’s apartment whilst she stayed here and held down the fort. We had a great time – at least, I did. I wrote a list of all the things I needed to do in Sydney, from looking at the new shoes to picking up a new Sims 3 expansion. Easter passed with a slightly lower level of dysfunction that normally plagues my family, thank god.

And now winter has hit. It’s currently absolutely pouring rain, a dark sky made darker with rain clouds and freezing – my ugg boots came out of ‘storage’ (read: out from under my chair) last night. Winter is finally here and I’m not exactly jumping for joy. I prefer cold but not rainy to all-out downpour. But since it is raining, I bought myself a gorgeous new umbrella

A Jonathan Adler umbrella, and I love it – it should arrive tomorrow, at which point it will stop raining because Life enjoys mocking me in that way. I just love the pattern – it reminds me of fish scales and that beautiful Japanese paper I get at the art shop. There is nothing more awesome than a brightly coloured umbrella during a rainy day.

Another thing bugging me at the moment is our neighbours. They are a very loud family – loud as in the seven year old girl and mother think screaming tantrums are perfectly acceptable at any time of the day or night, and the four year old boy is joining in as well. Which means I get woken up anywhere from 4:30am onwards from two tantrum throwing kids who need a good kick and a mother who chooses to scream back at them. It means I have to do most of my sleeping when the 7 year old is in school, which is not healthy. I think I’m going to have to say something to them, because the amount of murderous screaming that goes on is disturbing the entire street. (The next time I hear that girl screaming, ‘NO NO NO’, I’m going to hang out the bathroom window and scream, “Yes, YES, YES!!’ back at her. Then we’ll see what happens. :evil:)

I’ve also been spending a lot of time over on Goodreads – I’ll link to my profile later. I’ve also started a 50 (New) Books in 2012 challenge, and am 16 books in, which is crazy, since I only started in March. Out of those 16 books, only one of them sucked beyond all measure, so I think that’s a pretty good ‘awesome book’ percentage.

I’m also been working on my newest project – turning Written-Word.Org into a writing slash YA novel review site. Honestly, coding WordPress themes hasn’t quite clicked yet. I can code HTML and even a little PHP and CSS in my sleep, but WordPress eludes me. I guess that means I need more practice. So it will take longer to set up than I anticipated but that also gives me more time to come up with content. I also need to get my ass into gear and get my professional site and a business card designed and ready to go. I’ve got until late May before university classes start back up, which should be plenty of time.

Now I have a big bowl of udon and some allergy pills waiting for me; I know, I know, it’s a drunken whirligig of fun here tonight  XD

Books by the … ton ^_^

I love shopping. This is hardly a surprise to anyone, I guess. Shoes, handbags, homewares – all passions of mine. As a kid, looking at laptops and desktop computers was so exciting because our very first computer was five years old when we bought it second hand (and it blew up roughly four years later). Mobile phones are another thing that can occupy me for a little while – there are so many choices, touchscreen, flip-open, camera specs… it also reminds me that I really need a new phone.

But one thing I love beyond anything else are second-hand bookshops. Even as a child – there was an amazing one called Pig’s Wings in Prahan, Melbourne when I was roughly ten years old. It was incredible – beautiful old books, new books in great condition, squishy chairs to sit and read in, and lovely old-fashioned ladders to reach the higher-up books. The owner in the early years was the sweetest old lady who kept her dog in the store with her, and it just added to the magic of the store. I can’t tell you off the top of my head what I bought that first time, but on one of my return trips (after it was passed on to a new owner, sadly) I purchased a beautiful old copy of What Katy Did At School by Susan Coolridge out of my own money.

Now I live outside of Sydney and I’ve become a regular patron of another amazing second-hand bookshop – we’re talking books piled two-deep on shelves that stretch to the ceiling, on tables and and in boxes dotted around roughly four rooms. You need something to read waiting for a doctor’s appointment? Or a book on Joan of Arc, a catalogue on 1950s shock-artists? Everything is there. I’m seriously holding my breath that one day I’ll find some old Sailor Moon manga in there.

Read More