windtear: (And it hurts so much to break)
So on Thursday (three days ago) my dad had another heart attack.

I wish I could say this is a surprise, but it isn't. Between his smoking and his uncontrolled diabetes, it was only a matter of time. The prognosis isn't good - he will probably lose a foot, and he will be at extreme risk until he gets his diabetes under control. The trouble is that people are telling him what to do (quit smoking! Stick to your diet! Wear shoes! etc) and he doesn't like that.

*****

In doggy news, the dog that gets into everything managed to get hold of a bleach bottle. Fortunately we got it off him before he appears to have swallowed any of it, the bottle is intact, he got his face and paws washed, and he got given big bowls of water and milk to dilute any he'd swallowed. He's not showing any of the signs of bleach poisoning (no drooling, no vomiting, no abdominal pain and no licking of paws) so we're pretty sure we got there in time, but we're still watching him closely.

*****

And on the job front... well, universe, the gold lotto is on Thursday and all I ask is the chance to prove that money won't make me happy.
windtear: (La Gothika)
The Genius Locus of this house is up to something. We thought my brother's dog had somehow managed to lose his nametag in our yard this afternoon and tore the house apart looking for it, but the second my brother announced it was too late to go for a run with the dog, the nametag was suddenly on his collar again. I didn't do it, my brother didn't do it and the dog doesn't have opposable thumbs to do it with. That Which Lives Here sometimes does things like this, so we're blaming it, but the question remains: why?
windtear: Image of front of Victorian townhouse from caticorner angle with animated flame in street lantern in front of front door (Guide you home)
So the dog has settled down a lot and as long as I hide everything i don't want him to chew and make sure he can see me then he's quite well behaved, for a certain value of 'well behaved'. Another trick is to introduce him to a new person every day, but that's not always possible.

~*~*~*~

I am currently debating my future. I answered an ad for a position with the Army, and at the initial testing and interview I was told that, if I can pass the physical and fitness evaluation, I am in. It's a long-term, permanent role and it will completely change my life, so it's scary. But I do need to change my life, so, yeah. I am seriously thinking and seriously considering it.

~*~*~*~

The coolest thing, for me, about the photos of the rain and flooding in Central Australia is the fact that I've been there. I remember walking across that bridge and I've been standing where that photo of Uluru was taken. It feels kind of amazing to look at those photos and remember and know.

... yeah.

Jan. 9th, 2015 11:08 am
windtear: (The Interpretive Dance of Extreme Stabbi)
You know, I grew up with dogs. I thought I liked dogs. Not as much as I like cats, but surely canines were cool.

Either my parents were extremely good at picking pets, magnificent at training them, or this dog is just that irritating.

He stinks (which is, okay, not his fault, but still). Bathing doesn't help because it's from him farting all the time. (We're not sure what he ate before but his body clearly is taking time to adjust to switching to an all-dry-dogfood diet. Which is what his previous owners claim they gave him.)
He demands attention all the time (again, this is a doggy trait but there's a reason why the experts recommend getting two dogs if you're going to be out a lot). I don't like this but I can cope.
He has eaten one of my favourite bone-coloured heels (I LIKED those shoes!) that he stole out of the shoe rack.
And this morning he took off the coffee table and destroyed (as in, there are now holes in it) a library book. (Specifically, Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce.) Which occurred in the thirty seconds between me seeing what he was doing and managing to get it off him.

Even the most demanding kitten I ever met didn't destroy books.

No, I do not like my brother's dog at all.
windtear: (I'm Emmy's bitch.  So?)
So today, I have:
- jogged for half an hour with a dog
- played fetch for approximately two hours
- reinforced puppy training for ten minutes
- had to discipline a dog for misbehaving multiple times

I'm exhausted and it's only 10:30 am.
windtear: (Penguin on the Catwalk)
Reading everybody's food-centred entries, it occurs to me...

Is there anybody else in the world who watches Iron Chef and takes "So this goes with that, and this cooking method works for that ingredient" type notes?
windtear: (Distant like the Moon)
So, it has been over five months since I posted last, and since I have resolved to actually do what I say I'm going to this year (right now, that is: lose weight, start writing again and get a decent job) it makes sense to resume regular journalling, because when I was making time for journalling I was making time for writing.

So, 2014 sucked. I lost my job again, I lost my cat, and I moved back in with my brother. I am glad it's over.

2015 has started with my brother adopting a dog. He's a purebred labrador (he has papers and everything), and for anybody who knows labs, they know what this means. If you don't, I recommend you go watch Marley and Me, and keep in mind that they toned Marley down a lot for that movie. This is not to say that labs aren't adorable, loving, loyal and good-natured; it's just that they are also accidentally-destructive, overenthusiastic boofheads. I'm actually glad my brother has gotten a dog, as we are both of us the sort of people who are happier with pets than without them, but a labrador?

I am hoping 2015 improves significantly. However, looking back at 2014, I am fully away, it could certainly be worse.
windtear: (La Gothika)
I haven't talked here in a while. sorry, etc; there was a lot going on but things may have evened out a bit. but I can't talk about that, because something else, worse, has happened.

Midnight, the beautiful wonderful magnificent black cat I gave myself for my twenty-second birthday, has passed away. For seventeen years he and I have loved each other first and best, and I was never joking when i called him 'Midnight-my-Love'. Even back when I first picked him up, when he was the scrawniest and awkward four-week-old kitten that nobody else looked at, I knew he and I were right for each other. Looking back I can see why everyone else passed him over because objectively he was ugly, but I took one look and fell in love, and I thought - i have always thought - he was the loveliest thing ever. I was clearly seeing his heart. He grew into his looks and for sixteen years was the most magnificent cat.

But for the past week he's been off his food, and a week ago he had an accident in the kitchen, and then another last night (two actually) and he threw up today, so this afternoon we took him to the vet, who diagnosed acute renal failure. Three more pain-filled days of life, or a gentle euthanasia tonight.

I love him so much. I picked the second option. His body now rests at the foot of an olive tree and he is safely across the Rainbow Bridge, where his body cannot betray him any more.

I think I've only stopped crying tonight when it becomes necessary to refill the tears. I know I'm going to be grieving for a very long time.

Wrap Up

May. 17th, 2013 11:30 pm
windtear: (Flying free)
So it's the tail end of my two-week holiday from work, and I am now going to post about various things...

I went to Uluru. I didn't post about it online, although I was dying to, because the last time I posted about taking a few days away from home, my house got broken into. So yeah. On the insanely unlikely possibility that somebody was cyberstalking me, I chose not to advertise my movements. And when I got home, I hadn't been broken into. So there you go.

There are no words to describe the beauty that is Central Australia. It's odd, but so many Australians haven't seen The Rock; I'm so glad I'm no longer among them. It is strange and contradictory that there's so much there where there is so little to support it, but there are so many trees and plants and living animals. And, of course, the sky! The starkness of the land and sky almost burn with intensity. Not to mention the stars out there. I'm still processing. And my feet are still aching! This isn't a region for the faint- or weak-hearted. Not when the 'short' walk around Uluru is 6.3km!

I already miss the stars out west. They really were glorious! So today I went to the Brisbane Planetarium. It was fun, but the last five minutes of the show, where they discuss the current sky, was distinctly underwhelming. The main show had been on black holes, and I would have thought that the astronomer-in-residence's part would at least point out the location of a few in the current sky, but no, he didn't. Instead he went on about the moon and Jupiter and Saturn. I get that everybody has their own points of interest, but I don't think it would have killed him to point out the other planets, or maybe a few places for meteor showers (isn't this the time of year when the Peliades Meteors start? Okay, that's mostly a northern hemisphere thing, but if there were tons of shooting stars out west (which I saw and loved), why weren't they mentioned?).

I managed to get hold of a multiregion Blueray player yesterday. This is good.

I'm kind of sad that I seem to have been killfiled by absolutely everybody on the Bujold ML. I'd been quiet there lately, but I didn't think I'd managed to piss everybody off to the point where they'd all killfile me. And I can't really ask for an explanation. "Hey, you all are completely ignoring me and my posts, care to tell me why, so I can at least apologise?" doesn't work when they're not going to see it in the first place.

And that's everything up to right now. Tomorrow is another day.
windtear: Paper-doll style self-portrait (Default)
Why does everybody say 'chocolate brownies'? They only come in chocolate. Nobody ever makes a plate of vanilla brownies. I'd eat a plate of vanilla brownies. I must work out how to make some.

*~*~*~

Why do all the books and TV shows talk about Ben and Jerry's icecream as though it's so wonderful? I just tried it. Bulla's is better. I think Peter's premium is about the same. And it's so sweet! I know icecream's supposed to be sweet, but vanilla is supposed to have a slight tang to it, not sour or bitter but a little kick to remind you that pure vanilla is not sweet at all. It's there in Bulla's and Peter's but there's no vanilla kick in B&J's at all. Before this, I wouldn't have believed that icecream could be too sweet. Live and learn.

~*~*~*

Priorities, priorities! What do I buy first?

1. A blender/liquidiser - so many recipes call for pureed fruits and vegetables, not to mention the lure of the homemade smoothie.
2. Flannelette sheets. Winter's coming and I've only got cotton sheets at the moment.
3. Books and DVDs. I have three longish flights ahead of me, I need something to do on the plane.
windtear: (Penguin on the Catwalk)
So, the Saturday night before last, my TV died. It had been on the way out; the in-built DVD player died back in December, so I'd had to hook up my faithful old DVD player to watch videos. But fourteen days ago, the antenna receiver died, so, the only thing it could do was play videos.

So for the past two weeks, it's been no TV. At all. So this afternoon, because I got paid yesterday, it was off to JB HiFi. Who have a special on a particular TV at the moment: $298 for a 32" (81cm) plasma smart TV with a whole lot of features that I can't be bothered reciting at the moment because for me the important parts are TV that accepts A/V devices like DVD and BluRay players and that works. And so tonight, for the first time in two weeks, I caught the news and I watched Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, because a) broadcast TV, and b)adult Marion. (Don't know why I prefer the Marion of CS to the Marion of RotLA, or any other Indiana Jones girl, but I do.)

So, now... what do I do with my old TV, which is now essentially a video monitor? It is only useable plugged into something else so giving it away or selling it is not an option, and something in me doesn't want to just dump it.

~*~*~*~

And in happier news, my airline tickets are paid for! My holiday in May is now (almost completely) paid for! (Remaining costs: airport shuttle fare here in Ipswich; airport shuttle fares in Alice Springs; one dinner and two breakfasts in Alice Springs; sleeping bag hire; camel ride and Uluru tour when I'm actually on the trip. Let's round it up and call it $200 for ease of maths.) This is a relief; it's all happening. It's not a pipe dream anymore. I'm really doing this.

Gah.

Mar. 3rd, 2013 11:27 pm
windtear: (La Gothika)
I didn't realize how addicted to TV I was until today. But now, I have to go without for two weeks. This is not voluntary. This is because my TV - already in the slow process of decline after its internal DVD player stopped working - has now stopped being able to access antenna signals, which means it's just become a glorified monitor. Fortunately for my sanity, my old DVD player when plugged in still works fine with it, so I can watch stuff. But how long will that last? I don't watch much TV, but now that I can't watch any, I'm really craving it!

Update

Mar. 2nd, 2013 06:57 pm
windtear: Gif of three-tiered stone fountain in a park, with animated water running over it (Dancing drops)
It's the beginning of March and I'm finally starting to unwind after the Cruel Summer (what with the floods and theft and death, oh my!) so it's about time to post here. No, I'm not dead, but you would be forgiven for not noticing.

The rain continues to fall. I wish that were a metaphor, but no; it's not stopped raining for more than three days together since the end of January. This is important to me because my job involves the physical provision of care to people living in their homes, and so floods are a hazard to my job. I don't like it! Which is distressing because I used to really like rainy days. (Mostly because of my eyes. A part of my shortsightedness is a mild sensitivity to bright light, and sunny days can hurt.) But now I really want to see the sun!

Uncertainty is so dominant in my life right now. My company's CEO just left (two different emails were sent out about it, and it's not entirely clear whether he left or was pushed, but either way a one-year CEO doesn't look good), several higher-ups have left, and us on the lower rungs have been warned to watch our chairs... it's worrisome, especially as we're getting a large influx of clients. Still, I'm not going to panic... just yet.

I'm watching a new anime (well, new to me): Kimi ni Todoke. Kuronuma Sawako is a shy, polite girl in her first year of high school, who also bears an unfortunate resemblance to Sadako from The Ring so her classmates believe she's bad luck and avoid her. In a chance encounter, she meets and attracts the attention of Kazehaya Shouta, the most popular boy in class, and through him, begins to develop relationships with her classmates. It's interesting, because Sawako fits several of my favourite tropes (yamato nadeshiko, introverted bookish loner, painfully honest with herself and others) while at the same time hits several of my annoyance buttons (hesitates overmuch, extends second chances well beyond reason, misses painfully obvious social cues), but I'm still enjoying the series. I think it's for two reasons: firstly, while the romance is a big part of it, the series spends an equal if not greater amount of time on the friendship Sawako develops with her two closest girl friends, and secondly, this time, the girl is the clueless one (Kazehaya knows he's falling pretty much from day one and is clearly trying to win Sawako over in the nicest/best way possible).

Plans for Uluru continue apace; I have booked the camping tour and my accommodation in Alice Springs, so now all I have to buy are the airline tickets to get there. In less than two weeks, my holiday will be completely paid for and all I'll have to do is turn up at the airport at the right time. Now that's the challenge.
windtear: (Looks like such a nice girl)
So, Brisbane and Ipswich had another flood. Everybody is now eyeing the Weather Bureau, or the local church, askance (depending on individual faith levels). Forty-year floods are not supposed to happen two years apart.

I... did not have a good time. I was housesitting for my brother, and on call for work. The storm hit, and I:
- lost power
- lost phone and internet
- was isolated by floodwater and fallen trees
- and had the work phone die (no lie, they had to replace it)

This was not good, and nobody at work was happy. Ironically, I would have been just fine if I'd stayed home and brought my brother's cats over to my place.

I don't think I want to housesit for anybody ever again.

*~*~*~*

I have decided where I want to go for my holidays in May. Specifically: how can I call myself Australian if I've never seen The Rock? So: Uluru! I've priced a few packages and it's doable for less than 1500 dollars, especially if I get in early.

I won't deny that I do want to go to the beach on my holidays, but I live less than two hours from the coast, I can do a day trip easy. Uluru HO!

~*~*~*~

And for something completely different:

REASONS TO WATCH THE SHOPPING NETWORK:

- in order to sell you a 'bargain', they have to tell you what the average/regular price is. This helps with actual bargain-hunting.
- they have to tell you why you should buy. This will include what the new thingie and it's special features are and so you can judge yourself if it's worth it.
- If it's makeup, they will show you how to apply it. Pay attention and you will learn exactly what you're doing wrong and how to do it right.
- RECIPES. Seriously, the number of recipes for low-fat foods and techniques for cooking fast and well that I've picked up is crazy.
windtear: (And it hurts so much to break)
So for the past three days I have been catsitting my sister's cat. Which was okay but, well, we all knew he was on the way out. And so he passed away today, before my sister got home, while I was sitting there beside him.

And that was the start of the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

So then I had to find some kind of plastic thing and slide it under him, because death equals sphincter relaxation. I eventually settled on plastic shopping bags and I wasn't quick enough. And when they got home, I helped my sister and brother-in-law bury the cat.

So that was the next bit of the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

And then, when my sister and brother-in-law took me home, we drove in to find my front door wide open, the lock jimmied, all my drawers and cupboards opened and a digital camera, my oldest portable hard drive and the jewellery box that contained all my old, costume jewellery stolen.

And that was the cap on the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I guess the thing is that it isn't as bad as it could have been? They didn't find or recognise my good jewellery box. They didn't recognise the monetary value of many of my physical things. They only took the shinies and that's the least valuable things of what I own. The drive doesn't have any current personal data on it. Because I took my wallet with all my cards, my phone, my computer and my current portable hard drive with me when I went catsitting (oh, happy impulse!) I didn't lose any of them. Current opinion is it was some kids looking for quick, easy cash.

So the landlord's replaced the lock, the police report's been filed and I, well, I'm cleaning up.

This has been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
windtear: Image of front of Victorian townhouse from caticorner angle with animated flame in street lantern in front of front door (Guide you home)
... and I'm still not dead. It is a miracle.

And that's not sarcasm, because for the past three months the fridge supplied with this unit has been dying, and has probably been fully dead for about a fortnight. I've been doing my best to eat dried and frozen stuff rather than fresh and for the most part have succeeded but for things like milk, butter, bread and eggs you need refrigeration and the things that have needed refrigeration have been, well, not.

Last Saturday I bought a new fridge and it was delivered today. Already I can see a profound difference (specifically, it froze a tray of ice cubes in 2 hours. The old fridge took 36 hours). So yeah, that's good.

What's also good is that the queen bedroom setting that I bought at the same time was delivered too. It's kind of crazy to say it, but I'm in my mid-thirties and this is the first larger-than-single bed I've ever owned. When I moved out of my parents' house for uni, I took a smaller room in the house I was sharing (lower rent) and I decided I wanted a study desk more than I wanted a bigger bed. Then when I moved to Fortitude Valley, the five-room apartment I was in couldn't fit a double bed in the sleeping nook. When I went to Bardon, again, tiny bedroom. And in my brother's house... are you seeing a pattern here?

So in this house I said, no. Master bedroom is my bedroom. And after I saved up enough for nice furniture, I was going to get some. Because I'm an adult and I want stuff of my own.

And I have. I have a microwave and a washing machine and now a fridge, all new, all mine. I have a dining room table and chairs and a lounge setting, and if they're not black oak or thousand-dollar leather they are sturdy timber and cleanable microfibre and comfy and look good and mine. I have an HD TV with a built-in multiregion DVD player which I think is very nifty. And... I'm starting to sound like those seagulls in Finding Nemo.

And now I have a bedroom setting, bedframe, bedside drawers, six-drawer chest of drawers and then I bought a mattress to go with it, then I bought sheets and pillows and a quilt and a quilt set. And while I have had the pillows and quilt and sheets stashed for the past week, the furniture and mattress arrived today. The drawer sets were all delivered pre-assembled (thank goodness) but me and my trusty little electric drill had to put the bed together (and it didn't come with instructions). Everything has gone together smoothly eventually, but there were a few hairy moments. And I may have killed a few screws. Has anybody else said "Stuff it, I'm redoing this with a new screw" and unscrewed the screw they just put in to find that they somehow managed to bend it thirty degrees putting it into a piece of wood? (Which may be why it wasn't working.)

Also, I beg of you all out there, never try to get a queen mattress up a steep turning staircase by yourself. Learn from my hour-long ordeal of sweat, muscle strain and exhaustion-induced crying jag, and get a friend or the deliveryman to help. I now have done it once. Never again, and don't be stupid enough to copy me even once, okay?

So now it's just the office furniture to turn my second bedroom into the computer room/guest room it ought to be (it now houses my original bed, because having a place for a guest to crash at need is always a good idea, but a single bed doesn't take up that much room). And then, I have everything I want. Well, not everything. But enough, and more than enough.
windtear: (Flying free)
Well, it's getting to be that time of year...

If you would like to receive a Christmas Card from me, please leave a comment with your current address on this post. (That's important because I found out the hard way last year that most of my blog Christmas Card snail mail addresses are hopelessly out of date.) All comments to this post are screened. If you're still unsure about putting your address here, my email is raye_j @ yahoo.com. And, of course, let me know if you want my address.
windtear: (Flying free)
So, it's been about a month since I last posted. Sorry about that. I just didn't feel like I had much to say.

For those interested: the funeral went well, everything proceeded smoothly. There were bumps (I'm still not happy with my brother, and he knows why) but nothing that anybody not involved would notice.

I've been targeted by telemarketers a lot recently. Fortunately, I also have an answering machine and I've warned everybody I know to leave a message (because the telemarketers always hang up when they get an answering machine so I always pick up on anybody who starts talking when the 'leave a message' spiel ends - possess a bit of patience and you shall be rewarded!). But today I came home to four empty messages. It's always been two at most before. They're getting worse.

What's also getting worse is the LJ spammers. They vanished for a while, but now, they're ba~ack. Tip for the future, spammer guys - if you want your target to believe you when you say you have a crush on her, don't do it in public comments on her openly-available fanfic. PM her, at least.

But I do have one achievement: for the first time ever, I have managed to grow something from seed. Normally the pot just sits there and it's only whatever weeds that get blown in that sprout; seedlings thrive with me but seeds themselves... don't. Until, that is, this past month and this pot of basil. Hooray basil. It's here, it's alive and I'm nurturing and fertilizing it like crazy. Because it it alive and I grew it and I always thought I couldn't. Goes to show, really.
windtear: (And it hurts so much to break)
I never did get around to thanking the interwebs for remembering my birthday (for the first time in ten years). Thank you.

This would have been a more exuberant thanks except that I woke up this morning to the news that my grandmother died last night.

I love you, Grandma, and I will miss you.
windtear: (Penguin on the Catwalk)
Snitched from 17Catherines:

Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of. (Raye's addenum: things in plain text with no change are things I simply don't have and never did.)

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.

I have no idea but none are in my cupboards. Of course, we know what this means. Next payday... to the kitchenware store, Robin!
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