Friday, 29 April 2016

My favourite romantic relationships

I'll be the first one to say that I'm not big into romance. Romance is icky. There's far too much staring and hand-holding involved and not nearly enough blowing stuff up. Why would you sing love songs when you can run from evil aliens/war lords/psycho baddies? 

But we all know I'm a person of many opposites, (like I'm usually clean and organized but then I have my Wall of Utter Procrastination) so every few decades I manage to find a relationship or two that I can root for. (These are in no particular order, just what came to mind first.) 

The Doctor and River Song (Doctor Who) - I am continually amazed at how well this works because the actors for the Doctor and River have a 10-20 year age difference, and 98% of the time that doesn't work. Then there's the fact that it's beautifully tragic because they haven't really met each other yet, but they have, but the other one doesn't remember. 


Source

Cress and Thorne/Cinder and Kai (The Lunar Chronicles) - I just love Cress and Thorne/Cinder and Kai. They're just all adorable and awesome and they blow stuff up while falling in love, which is always the best way. I also really appreciate how there's no love triangle, despite the potential for a love... oh goodness, decagon? And Thorne and Cinder can be buddies and it doesn't stop Cress and Thorne from being together. And the sarcasm. The sarcasm trumps all.  

William Cage and Rita Vrataski  (The Edge of Tomorrow) - This is another beautifully tragic relationship (are you sensing a trend?). He knows her so well, but she doesn't know him at all and every time she learns more about him it's all erased. Then, of course, he has to watch her die every single day. It's so beautiful. *sobs*

Creel and Luka (Dragonskin Slippers) - This is pretty much the only fairytale couple I can behind (The Lunar Chronicles doesn't count because it's sci-fi and awesome). Creel is a peasant who falls in love with the youngest prince, and they basically fight dragons and stuff. It's awesome. As an added bonus, there's no side plot about becoming the queen and ruling and whatnot because the older brother gets to deal with that. 


Source

Maia and Finn (Journey to the River Sea) - This isn't strictly a romantic relationship, but it's implied that in five or so years it could be romantic and I think that's the best kind of romance. I think you should fall in love with your best friend during a wild adventure in the Amazon rainforest with an awesome governess and lame cousins. 

John and Mary (Sherlock) - Once again, another tragic relationship. I love how John shouldn't fully trust Mary but he trusts her anyways, and Mary is just plain awesome herself. (Have you seen the Christmas special? 
John: "I'm taking Mary home!" 
Mary: "Excuse me?" 
John: "Mary's taking me home!")

I was absolutely sure I could come up with more than five relationships, (AND I MANAGED SIX, MAY I JUST SAY) but after consulting Google and my bookshelf, I could not come up with any more. (And it's rather sad that half of my list features tragic and rather depressing relationships.) (And can we please ignore the fact that I just used the word "awesome" five times in one post?)

Are there any relationships you ship like crazy? Do you like lots/some/none at all romance in your books?  

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

ANZAC Day and things I'm still learning

Well, jabberwockies, today (well, yesterday by the time you read this) is April 25th, ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and the name was given to the group of men who landed in Gallipoli in Turkey on April 25th, 1915. They were trying to capture Istanbul (then Constantinople), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. The attack lasted for eight months, and more than 8,000 Australians died. It was one of the greatest defeats in Australian history. (Source and source.)



There's a dawn service, but we've always gone to the morning one which is at a much more reasonable hour. For the past three years, I've marched down the road with my school in full formal uniform, sweating through my heavy blazer. (The bonus of having a blazer, though, is that you can sneak a small water bottle in your pocket.) The police, ambulance, RSL (Returned and Services League), the Lions Club, Rotary, Surf Life Saving and all the schools march down the street to the memorial statue at 9am while the marching band from the boy's school plays. I adore that band. Not only are they good, but they're so loud that you can feel the beat of the drum in your bones. There's nothing quite like hearing Waltzing Matilda right in your ears. (I have a thing for overly loud music, much to my family's despair.) (Also, sorry for a lack of pictures of the parade but I'm hesitant to put pictures of kids in their school uniforms online without permission.)



This year, I'm not in school so I went with my parents. I wore a nice dress and a huge hat and slapped on lots of sunscreen, and we watched my two siblings march past with their school.  The cadets stood around the memorial, and this year it was cooler so no one fainted (like they did the first year we were here). We watched from the street as members of the RSL and the school captain from the boy's school gave speeches (there are three high schools in town, a Catholic girl's, a Catholic boy's and the public high school. Every year we rotate, so last year for the 100th centenary of ANZAC Day my school made the speech and the year before was the public school's turn). I was quite excited to finally be able to watch the speakers this year. (Usually I'm with my school, and we always sat behind the memorial statue so we could never see anything. To my surprise, the speakers were actual people and not just disembodied, floating voices.) 



It always confused me to why ANZAC day was such a big deal. It's certainly celebrated more than November 11th here. It was a huge military failure and it wasn't even in defence of Australia but an invasion of Turkey. Where's the honour in celebrating that? But it was really only this year that I understood that Australians are remembering those who died fighting for a cause they believed in, and they're celebrating the ANZAC legacy that the ANZACs formed while fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The legacy was the courage, mateship, humour and endurance formed by the ANZACs, traits most Australians aspire to (and do) have. It was also the first year I was able to sing all the words of the first stanza of the Australian national anthem. (We don't sing it in the morning at school like we did in Canada, so it's taken me four ANZAC Days to learn it.) And while I don't know any of the words to the New Zealand anthem, it sounds very nice. 



So I finally understand ANZAC day. And as one of the speakers said, we do not glorify war but we honour the human spirit, which is what ANZAC day is all about. 

Have you ever heard of the ANZACs? (I'm afraid I don't know what the history curriculum in Canada or the USA is.) What do you do for Remembrance Day? And is there anything  in particular you would like me to post about regarding Canada/Australia/travel/culture/whatever? 

Friday, 22 April 2016

I finished Camp NaNo! (And snippets)

So yeah, basically what the title said. I finished Camp NaNoWriMo on the 19th of April with 51,120 words and a finished first draft. 

This was my first time participating in NaNoWriMo (of any kind) so I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was. I loved talking to people in my cabin and having a set goal to write everyday. I also loved having a finished draft by the end of it, because it usually takes me a good three-four months to get that down. 

I usually don't do a whole lot of planning in regards to plot and characters. I usually have a general outline and idea of characters, then I run off and see what happens. This time I used the Snowflake Method (which RM introduced me to (thank you!)) and having a scene-by-scene outline really helped with not taking a wrong turn somewhere between Metropolis and Gotham. 

And now for the part of the post where I shove my writing down your throat. (You're welcome!) In case you missed my Beautiful People post, I was writing about a teenage genius (Jade) who gets trapped in another dimension and has to find her way home. (Skylar is her older sister, and Flynn is the love interest. (Yeah, I actually have a love interest this time around. (In case you're new here, it is basically my goal in life to remove 90% of all love interests from stories because they're usually lame and bore me to tears. So this was quite a new experience for me.))

***

Something warm touched my shoulder. I jerked away, snatching my headphones off my aching ears. "Read the sign."

Skylar spun me around, grabbing my shoulders. "The one that says "keep out, imbeciles?" That one?" 


I blinked. "I don't remember writing that."


She held up a piece of plain paper, the words "keep out, imbeciles" scrawled across it in my handwriting. Well. I shouldn't write signs at four am with fifteen coffees in me. It was true, though, and I couldn't get in trouble for writing the truth, now could I?


***

 An employee turned the corner, his face tight to a clipboard. I clamped my hand over my mouth to stifle my scream and threw myself in the darkest corner I could find, then stood as still as I could. He wandered past, humming a few lines of Snow White's dwarf song. 

"I hoe, I hoe, it's off to work I go!" he muttered under his breath. "Do do do do do do do do do, I hoe!" I rolled my eyes and tried to not move. People saw movement more than they noticed something out of place, and I was very, very out of place, in more ways than one. 


Then, he paused. He was so close that I could have reached out and touched his shoulder. The only thing hiding me was the shadow from the giant shelf towering over me. 


He stood there for another moment, just staring. My chest felt like it was going to burst like balloon that'd been filled too much. Then, he sneezed and continued on his way. 


The strength left my knees, but I forced myself to continue. Crowbar, crowbar, crowbar. I searched the best I could, but I found nothing. Couldn't one of these idiots have left one lying around somewhere? I couldn't keep searching forever, I'd have to just grab the whole crate. That was not something I wanted to do, but I didn't see that I had much of a choice. 


I made my way back to the crate with the lasers, then dragged it off the shelf. It would barely fit in my purse, and there'd be a large, box-shaped lump where there shouldn't be. Well, this could have gone better.


 "Hey!" said a voice, and my heart stopped. "What are you doing?"


It was the lazy employee from before, the one I'd stolen the password off. I opened my mouth to reply, to spit some stupid excuse out for being lost, but then there was a shadow behind him with a weapon raised. A thud, then silence. The employee collapsed to the ground, and Flynn nearly dropped the crowbar trying to catch him. I blinked, slightly unsure of what had just happened. 


"You hit him?" I whispered. 


"No, I just gave him some warm milk and turkey." Flynn dropped the crowbar, then shoved the man underneath the shelving. "We have to hurry."


"I was trying, but you stole my crowbar!"


"We can discuss who did or did not steal the crowbar at a later date, but Mr. Cole thinks I'm checking up on you in the bathroom. Here." He handed me the crowbar. "Hurry it up."


***

I yanked my headphones off. "What?"

"I said, do you want some tea?"


"Oh, yes please." Flynn had gotten me addicted to tea since I've come here. I used to hate it, because what was the point? But it turned out the point was to give your hands something to do instead of aimlessly wringing them. Plus, the stuff he had tasted good. 


I nodded in thanks as he set a cup down beside me, then I turned back to my machine. I was still trying to figure out how to merge my technology with the new stuff here, and I must admit that I was impressed with the advanced tech here. Flynn was still trying to explain things to me. 


I sorted through the jumbled pile of parts, grabbing random pieces of wires and electronics. "What's this one do?" I asked, holding up a microchip I didn't recognize. 


"That one? You know what that one is." He smirked and stared, waiting for me to magically discover the answer. Somehow. 


"Come on."


He simply took a sip of his tea and settled into the worn chair opposite to my spot on the couch. "Darling, it's not often I have the answer and you don't. It's quite fun, actually."


I stared at him, unable to comprehend what he was doing. Why wouldn't he just tell me?


"Flynn."


"Jade."

"Come on."


I tossed a pillow at his face and he narrowly avoided spilling tea all over himself. "Hey! Alright, alright, I'll tell you."


Finally. He motioned for me to pass the microchip and I did, waiting for his reply. Flynn picked it up then turned it over, studying it. "I have no idea what this does."


I stared at him, my jaw dropped. "You-"


"Have no idea."



I was busy flinging throw pillows at his face when there was a knock on the door. 


***

So anyways, I hope you enjoyed. 

Did you participate in Camp NaNoWriMo? Do you have an aversion to love interests like I do?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Bonus Post: 12:42am

I always find it interesting to see what people do at the small hours of the night when sleep evades them. One of my favourite artists, Adam Young/Owl City, writes music. (He actually wrote Fireflies when he couldn't sleep one night.) My sister goes on Pinterest or watches interviews for the newest movies on YouTube. My mom tries to read but ends up falling asleep in a few minutes, or she just stares at the ceiling and worries. My brother goes on his iPad. He probably plays Minecraft. (And I don't think Dad has ever had a sleepless night in his life.)

12:45am

I usually lay awake for a while, then I either read or do some writing. Once, I watched an hour long Owl City concert until 2am before I fell asleep. Tonight (this morning?) I tried to sleep before I realized that this would just be one of those nights. Then I did some writing for my NaNo project. Then I was hungry (so I quietly grabbed a giant glass of chocolate milk (half chocolate milk, half white milk. I'm picky) and a spoonful of peanut butter). 

12:49am

After that, I cranked Relient K's newest song Bummin' through my headphones and did some work on (one of) my non-NaNo projects. I now have written a thousand words about a five year old getting framed for the serious crime of knocking over a manequin and rocked out to my song, which, at this point, has been replayed about twenty times. (It's quite hard to properly rock out to a song while surrounded by pillows, but I did my best. It basically involved cranking my headphones during the good parts and waving my arms and bobbing my head the best I could without actually moving, then turning the volume down the rest of the time so I didn't damage my hearing.) 

12:54am

I've taken a break to write up this post. I might go back and do some writing. I might not. But I probably will. 

12:55am
1:03am
1:13am
1:29am
1:36am
1:41am
2:04am

What do you do when you can't sleep?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Why learning a language is hard but totally worth it

Learning a language is hard. There are verbs to remember and pronunciation to get right  and darn it, what was the word for "slowly" again? (Also, Dear the French language, you and I have some issues to work through. I've booked a couple's counselling session for this weekend. Don't be late. Sincerely, Victoria.) (Also, by the way, I'm in no way fluent in French. Just so you know.)

But let's just hop right into the list, shall we?

Loire Valley, France

1) It stretches your brain. Learning a language uses different parts of your brain, and it helps you learn how to memorise stuff. After all, you're learning vocabulary for a whole new language. That's quite a bit of stuff to remember, and the more you work at it the more your brain stretches and the better you get. You know, like Spider-Man. The more you beat up bad guys the better you get at it. 

2) It's amazing for travelling. Road signs, directions, ordering meals, asking for something in a store. The locals are always a lot more helpful if you speak their language (which, you know, makes sense because I don't know a word of German and if someone came up to me speaking only German expecting me to speak German as well, I'd probably be less than helpful. (Then again, if a German was in Australia they'd be speaking English better than I would be)).

3) It opens your mind to other cultures. I've learned so much about Japan just from my sister taking Japanese. I know so much more about France because you pick up cultural stuff when you learn the language. For example, most kids don't have part-time jobs because school goes until five o'clock, but everyone goes home for an extra long lunch. 

4) It's a great feeling when you can understand someone. Because dude, you're speaking French and I understand what you're saying. And I shouldn't, because I speak English. So this is weird. But cool. Anyways. 


Tokyo, Japan

5) It's better for your career. You're more likely to get hired if you speak another language, especially in bilingual countries. It's so much easier to become a teacher or work in the government in Canada if you speak French.  

6) It gives you an excuse to travel. (As if you needed an excuse :) )

7) You find all sorts of new music/movies. My favourite French songs are Papaoutai by Stomae, Petite Soeur by Ben l'oncle Soul, Le Festin from Ratatouille and Je Vol from La Famille Bélier. I haven't seen many French movies, but I really like The Intouchables, La Famille Bélier and Belle et Sébastien. (And if you're watching a movie in another language, just throw on some subtitles and enjoy.)

And do you know what the best part is? It's easy to start! There's so much stuff online, and 98% of the time there's classes near you. 

Are you learning another language? Is it worth all the work? Have you ever been able to use it in your travels? If you could learn one language, what would it be? 

Friday, 15 April 2016

My favourite blogs

(I'm totally not writing this post because I have no idea what else to write. Promise.)

Which blogs do I read, you ask? I answer all! 

Adam Young - Once when I was struggling with anxiety, this blog and his music helped me sleep. Hilarious, random, beautiful stories, especially further back in the archives. 

A Splash of Ink - Sunny always has interesting opinions on reading and writing, and whenever she learns something cool in class she shares it on her blog. She also talks about photography sometimes, so I was sold. 

down by the willows - Amazing photography. Beautiful poetry. (I can't understand the poetry half the time, but I still love it.) Her blog makes me feel happy. 

Go Teen Writers - Amazing writing advice and a great community. I think this blog is how must people got into blogging. Need I say more?

Here and There - Daily photos of Nova Scotia. Reminds me of home. Gorgeous. 



Ink Inc. - Emily writes about writing and posts her Starting Sparks stories, which is always extremely enjoyable. Plus, she's awesome and funny. 

Justine Larbalestier - She's married to Scott Westerfeld, and while I like his books better her blog is way better than his. She talks about racism and sexism and is Australian and awesome. 

Migg Mag - Marie writes about plus-sized fashion and body positivity. It's not something I'd usually read, but she always has interesting opinions and great pictures. 

Miss Adventure - Susanna moved to Wales to study, and she talks about her experiences living overseas. (She actually guest posted for me not too long ago.) She likes reading and writing and learning new things, and exploring her new home. She always has funny stories to tell. 

Opal Swirls - Opal writes about books and writing and she does fabulous gifs and is always entertaining. 

Out of Coffee, Out of Mind - Liz always writes fantastic reviews and personal reflections and is generally an incredible blogger. I will be reading her blog for as long as she decides to blog. 

Paper Fury - Go read Cait's blog. Just go. (Book reviews, reading and writing, in case you didn't know.)

Planet Lydia - I'm not really sure what genre Lydia's blog is. Lifestyle? In any case, I enjoy it. 

Sometimes I'm a Story - Heather is completely sarcastic, terribly funny and always thoughtful, deep and interesting. She always has great opinions on stories and villains. 

The Book Hound - RM writes great Christian speculative fiction reviews... yes, the genre actually exists, which I didn't think it did. I've found many awesome books through her blog. (Ok, like three, but the rest are on my TBR list because they sound amazing.) She also writes about writing and she has interesting and entertaining posts (and guest posted for me as well).




This Incandescent Life - Formerly The Dreaming Hobbit, Emily writes about living to your full potential and being happy and being awesome. Which is always nice. 

To the Barricade! - Aimee is just generally hilarious and she's a sci-fi nerd, which always makes me happy. And the sarcasm. The sarcasm is awesome. 

Maureen Johnson - HILARIOUS. CAPS. AMAZING. Unfortunately, she hasn't posted lately and all her archives are locked away in cyberspace somewhere, but I await patiently because I almost cry tears of pure joy whenever I read her blog. 

YAvengers - Avengers. Blogging. About writing. What more could you ask for? They don't post much anymore, and only Captain America has posted in the past six months or so, so I hope they get it back up and running because it really is a great, informative and hilarious blog. 

Zero Waste Home - A friend of mine did an English assignment on the author once, and I got into her blog. She has great ideas for reducing your waste (quite drastically. When she says "zero waste" she means zero waste). 

Go, jabberwockies, and read all the things. 

(Also, halfway Camp NaNoWriMo update. (I actually have no idea if we're halfway or not, but I've now decided we're halfway so halfway we are.) I'm ahead of my word count goal, thankfully, but I've discovered that I have no idea how to write a romantic relationship. It sucks quite a bit because it's not like I can just take that relationship out because it's integral to the plot. *sobs* But I'm having quite a bit of fun :) )

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Food I (still) miss from Canada

I try to not complain too much about my life in Australia (mostly because it's so amazing that I don't have much to complain about (honestly, I live five minutes from the beach. How can I complain when that's my life?)) but every once and a while I can't help but sigh and think about all the lovely food I left behind. 

Australia has great food, of course, even if it's a bit different. The produce is amazing and often local (my brother's elementary/primary school has a pineapple farm right across the road from it) and there's lots of health food places popping up everywhere. But every once and a while, I just want a box of Timbits. 

Food I (still) miss from Canada

1) Tim Hortons. It's completely accepted in Canada (and the States, too, I'd suppose (correct me in the comments, you Americans!)) to say "I'm going to Tim's" and everyone knows you mean Tim Horton's, not Tim from across the street. What I would give for a box of Timbits or a bowl of chicken noodle soup. (By the way, you Australians, that's how you make a doughnut. Crispy Kremes are not doughnuts.)


*drools* Source

2) Boston Pizza. Boston Pizza is the best restaurant to meet up with friends after church on a winter Sunday morning to watch the hockey game, get great pizza and reconnect. They have the BEST lasagne I've ever had in the entire world, and I've been to Italy. (Italy's got nothing on Boston Pizza's lasagne.) 

3) Cheerios. I realise they have Cheerios here in Australia, but it's not the same. I think you can only get whole grain cereal or something here, and it's just not good. I like my Cheerios plain and bad for you with lots of brown sugar and milk, thank you very much. We occasionally get our grandma to ship them over, which is totally not ridiculous, I promise. 

4) Goldfish. No, we don't pack live goldfish in our lunch (I'd have many awkward conversations with Australians when I tell them that I miss eating Goldfish), they're cheesy crackers of goodness that spread joy and love wherever they go. They're the snack that smiles back (Goldfish!) and I miss them ever so much. 


Source

5) Fruit pie. Dear Australians, meat pie is not pie. It is an abomination from the depths of hell and should be destroyed on sight with lasers, missiles and atomic bombs. I repeat, meat pie is not pie. Pie is fresh cherries from the Okanagan Valley in the warm months of July and August with a healthy dose of whipped cream and a scoop of ice cream, shared on the deck with friends and family as the sun sets and the cool breeze from the lake scurries onto the land. *flashback ripples*

We often get our food either from lovely friends/relatives who ship stuff over or from the O Canada website. We have, on more than one occasion, used Oh Henry bars as bargaining tools. (Never underestimate Canadians on a Oh Henry craving. (Or when their favourite team loses the hockey game. Seriously, run.)) But I'm finding more and more that I'm getting used to not having certain foods, especially when the food here is quite good anyways. 

What food could you not live without? Have you ever had meat pie? Which store had the best doughnuts that you've been to? 

Also, P.S. I'm still looking to trade critiques with someone for my WIP, Formulas. Feel free to contact me at victoriajackson9901@gmail.com if you're interested. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Reread, Rewrite and Burn tag

This tag is going to challenge my ability to name the last fifteen books I've read. Thanks to Heather @ Sometimes I'm a Story for tagging me! (I'm also against burning books of any kind, no matter how horrible they were. (Well, actually, there are a few books I'd like to burn, but none of them are on the following list.) So when I say "burn" please mentally replace that word with "gently put aside and not read again.")

The rules:
-Divide 15 books you’ve read into random groups of three
-For each group, choose one book to reread, one to rewrite, and one to burn
-Tag people

Group 1

Source
Source
Source














Reread: Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater because it was utterly fantastic and I can't wait to finish the series. I couldn't stop reading it. 
Rewrite: By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson. I stopped reading it for a few months because the beginning was quite boring, so I'd cut a few chapters and skip to the exciting bits. 
Burn: The Door that Led to Where by Sally Gardner. The concept was interesting - a door that led to Victorian London? Yes, please! - but nothing much happened and there were so many names that I got quite confused. And I wasn't 100% sure who the antagonist was? 

Group 2


Source
Source
Source














Reread: To Peking by Peter Fleming. The author was the older brother of the guy who wrote James Bond, and he was a journalist who traveled from Moscow to Peking. He was hilarious, and now I want to go to Mongolia. 
Rewrite: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, mostly because she should've either finished writing the whole revolution or have released the sequel immediately. Because that's just rude to have have a sequel out as soon as the first one was released. Rude, I tell you!
Burn: Prodigy by Marie Lu. It was actually quite good but I have to burn (er, gently put aside and not read again) something. 

Group 3


Source
Source
Source














Reread: Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs because Miss Peregrine was just awesome and I'm so excited for the movie. And the main character, Jacob, was one of the rare the main characters who I never wanted to smash into a wall. 
Rewrite: More than This by Patrick Ness. I needed more of an ending. It was a really amazing book but it just ended and my heart smashed into a million pieces of glass. (Which I then proceeded to step on and cut my feet up.)
Burn: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'M SORRY ALRIGHT BUT I HAVE TO BURN SOMETHING. 

Group 4


Source
Source
Source














Reread: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. This was one of those rare and beautiful books that didn't have much of a plot but was completely engaging anyways. (Plus I got it for free and you can't argue with free books.)
Rewrite: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I'd probably shorten it a bit, especially the first half. It was a little slow until I got halfway through, but from then on out it was completely gripping. 
Burn: Chasing the Valley by Sky Melki-Wegner. It was interesting enough and I didn't see the ending coming, but the writing didn't really grab me. It was just average, I suppose?  

Group 5


Source
Source
Source














*smashes face against keyboard* Why are these decisions so hard??? 
Reread: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. This is one of my new favourite books of all time because not only is it beautiful but it deals with mental illness, which basically never comes up in YA books. 
Rewrite: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I would stop a certain person from meeting an untimely end. You'll know who I'm talking about if you've read it. *runs off to sob in a dark corner somewhere*
Burn: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I adore this book, but it's the lesser of the three evils. 

And I'm going to be lame today and tag everyone. 

Do you agree/disagree with anything I've decided? Has anyone read any of these books? (I'm here to fangirl with you, by the way.) Who else cannot stand the thought of burning books?

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Festival of the Wind

On Sunday, I had the great pleasure of dragging my dad and brother along to annual Festival of the Wind, which is basically a day where people fly lots of cool kites. Unfortunately, we don't actually own a kite so instead we wandered around while I took pictures. It was fantastic. 


The festival is also a great time for people to set up stalls and sell stuff, like hand-made clothing, posters, skincare, trinkets and food. (There was a lot of food. Specifically pizza. Did I mention the pizza looked amazing?) Also, for some reason every stall felt the need to play their own music (although I mostly blame the rides) which resulted in ten different songs being played at the same time. (And on that note, we have millions of songs available to us in this day and age. Many, many of them are excellent and we should celebrate the excellentness of those songs. So why do we still insist on playing the Chicken Dance?)



My brother got lost somehow, so I had a nice nap underneath a frangipani tree while we waited. I also got this fantastic sunburn, but I think my pictures were worth it. I had the greatest time standing underneath the giant octopus, feeling like I was on the ocean floor while I looked up at the incredible creatures floating above me. It was surreal, like something in a strange book hidden in the back of the library. 




When was the last time you flew a kite? 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Bonus Post: I work at the ice cream sandwich factory

My friend was over the other night, and she's a first year physiotherapy student. She was using my sister and me as test subjects for her interviews. The resulting transcript is more or less the exchange between my poor friend (J) and my sister (M). We couldn't stop laughing the entire time. For the record, they get along really well and have known each other for years. (My sister was adamant that last bit went in so everyone knows she wasn't harassing J. Which she was.) Enjoy. 



J - Good evening, I'm a first year physio student from the university. What would you like me to call you?
M - Your Excellency. 
J - Okay. Nice to meet you, Your Excellency. 
M - I also answer to Ma'am or Batman. 
J - ...
M - Or M. 
J - Alright, M, what have you come in for today?
M - Well, I have heel pain and it hurts and gets really inflamed. 
J - Alright, how long has this been happening for?
M - 8 years. Wait, no, a month. No, 8 years. 
J - And do you do any sports? 
M - Yeah, I play soccer. My heels really hurt after that. 
J - Okay, and does anything else hurt? 
M - Yeah, my knees. Look, I have lumps on my knees. 
J - Have you been taking any medication? 
M - Yes, Panadol. No, Neurofen. What should I be taking? Panadol, I've been taking Panadol. 
J - And have you had any medical conditions or trauma I should know about? 
M - Well, I was skiing once and I hit a tree. That hurt a lot. 
(It was at about this point where I was laughing so hard that I choked on my bubble tea and had to run to the sink to spit it out.)
J - Can you describe the pain in your heels for me?
M - When I hit the tree?
J - No, just normally. 
M - Sharp, stabbing, almost like a spasm. 
J - Thanks for telling me these things. 
M - No problem.
J - Anything else you need to tell me?
M - I've got all three diabetes. I've got a list of all the things wrong with me. Everything's gotten worse after the skiing accident. 
J - Alright... has the pain you've been experiencing gotten worse?
M - Yes. 
J - Right, you've got arthritis. Have you had any surgery?
M -Yes, my eyes. It was from hitting the tree. 
J - What kind of surgery did you have?
M - Prefrontal cortex. The tree went right through my eye. I can't see out of my left eye. I had brain surgery as well. 
J - Alright, with your heels and knees do you experience any stiffness?
M - No. 
J - Any allergies? 
M - A mild allergy to cats, dogs, horses, cows. 
J - Well, we don't have any cows in the office today. We're trying to cut down. Do you have any family history of medical conditions? 
M - No. Wait. Yes, my Mom has arthritis in her thumbs and neck. 
J - Which type? 
M - Painful. 
J - Rheumatoid or osteo? 
M - Osteo
J - Why did you say that? 
M - 50/50 chance. 
J - Oh. As for your lifestyle, so you said you play soccer-
M - TV show fanatic.
J - Do you have a job?
M - Yes. No. Yes, I do. I work at the ice cream sandwich factory. 
J - Does that bring on any pain?
M - Yes, I bend down all the time to pick the ice cream off the floor and it hurts my left foot, so I squat on my right leg to avoid using my left. Squat? Fold? Squat, I squat. 
J - Back to the pain-
M - Sometimes I have really short seizures. Does that have anything to do with it? I had a stick in my eye for a whole week because we couldn't get in to see a surgeon. 
J - Back to your heel pain.
M - I've forgotten about my heel pain actually.
J - Can you rate your pain on a scale of 0-10?
M - On a scale of like watching TV to hitting a tree, probably like a 6, but I'm sitting down.
J - What about after exercise? 
M - Like an 8.3. 
J - Perfect. Did you actually hit a tree?
M - Nah, I'm a great skier.