365 Top Ten Lists. This is my project for 2010.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ten Sneaky Ways to Shorten the Holiday Queue.

1. Take the Resort Train from the parking lot to Disneyworld—it's two more stops, but while the you that waits for the Disneyworld train only moves up two u-turns in the queue, the you on the resort train is already on Space Mountain.
2. Buy your entry ticket from the machine. This you had no queue at all, while the other you waits with all the technophobes in a line. This you was also then given the above hint by the guy supervising the ticket machines. Yay for technology and its minders ... mmm, not really sure if I do believe that sentiment.
3. Fast Track every ride. There must come a point when that is not going to work, when everyone who would normally be in the queue ends up in the fast track queue—the same queue through a different entry. But I think they only have a cetrain number of people in each time slot, and so it does work out 'way' quicker. Say hi to the normal queue as you rush past and watch eight year olds try and convince their fathers that waiting an hour outside the ride for your time slot is more time efficient than waiting an hour in the queue.
4. Go in the out door. I know what you're thinking. Cheating? Doesn't make you popular? This only, morally, works when your are innocently ignorant. Don't use it too often unless you are just a callous bastard.
5. Go to Disneyworld on a freezing cold day. It helped. It helps more if you realise that just because it was muggy last night, doesn't mean it will be warm today and five degrees, eight tops, requires more than a skirt and a flimsy cardigan!
6. Go to Universal Studios on a rainy day. It helps even more.
7. Buy an Express Pass. If you have to. (Cheeky Universal, you know Disney gives them away free on a first come, first serve basis—see 3.) If it's rainy—see 6.
8. Go on water rides when it is raining. You are relatively wet anyway, and everyone else is trying to shelter in the limited undercover areas. The ride is all yours!
9. Duelling Dragons. Come off Ice and sneak over to Fire where the exit line meets the entry line. On a busy day this would be classified as pushing in and not appreciated or tolerated. On a quiet day it saves you walking and lets you push in front of people who aren't there yet. That good old ignorant bliss.
10. Go on the Incredible Hulk at the end of the day when everyone else in the park has already ridden it and is too hulk green to ride it again.

And, as a billy-bonus, there is always the queue free techniques of picking up and dropping off hire cars at airports where storms keep aircraft circling, or blizzards close them down. This is definitely a queue free zone.

Ten Ways to Entertain Yourself on an Aircraft for Fourteen Hours with Only Three Hours Sleep.

1. Writing, or talking to anyone who'll listen, about how you had only three hours sleep—ten hours ago—after being up eleven hours, after four hours of sleep, after night shift ...
2. Watching 'Up'. Cute, but why did the child's parents not wonder where the be-jeebers he had gone to. The problem with his inattentive parents was more serious than even he made out.
3. Watching 'Inglorious Basterds'. Yeah, Brad's accent was a little annoying. Lots of blood.
4. Watching 'The Ugly Truth'. Mediocre.
5. Watching 'The September Issue'. Really quite interesting, visually exciting. She is an odd woman—a sad woman maybe.
6. Analysing and surveying the map, distance covered in meters and yards, time to destination and outside temperature.
7. Texas Hold 'em. Lucky it wasn't my money.
8. Eating off a plastic tray with a plastic knife and fork while your elbows are attached to your ribs by the economy of spacing in the economy cabin. This sounds simple. It is easier to stand on your head and juggle. I felt like I was in the womb with cutlery.
9. Filling in your disembarkation card—or watching someone else do it for you.
10. Trying to find innovative ways of sleeping upright. Economy is tight, but not tight enough to support your neck in an upright position, unfortunately. Inevitably you must drool on a stranger's shoulder.

Ten Americanisms I Expected to Hear, and, if Heard, When.

1. Howdy Folks. Not heard
2. Y'all have a nice day. Not heard.
3. Awesome. Toast Cafe, Charleston, S.C.; assorted restaurants in Florida, South Carolina, D.C. and New York, as an expression that illustrated the waiting staff's confidence in your dining choices.
4. ... y'hear. Not heard.
5. Like, blah, blah, blah, like. Central Metro Station, Washington D.C.
6. Darn tootin'. Not heard.
7. I didn't vote for George Bush. Surprisingly, not heard.
8. Right on. Not heard.
9. Well I'll be darned. Not heard.
10. I believe in my constitutional right to bear arms. Not heard.

Ten Things Not to be Missed on Two Weeks of Holidays Overseas

* Thus justifying the absence of postings over the last two weeks.

1. Early mornings—for work purposes, play is a different matter.
2. Hot Melbourne weather. Snow is a much better alternative!
3. Involuntarily having to talk to the public. (They make the calls drop in—if we had to pick up the phone at work, no one ever would.)
4. Feelings of displacement. I must be a travelling soul, that moving makes me feel more at home than being at home. I must be an escaping soul.
5. The scary reminders that this year I will have to work out , and then write, my thesis. Actually, it's the working out that is the scary part.
6. The same routine.
7. News that only includes cricket and people being stabbed in Melbourne.
8. The neighbours burning stuff in the back yard 'til crazy-o'clock—making noise, and making the house smell.
9. Fighting development, talking about development.
10. The taken-for-grantedness of a good coffee.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ten 'To Do' Items on the Most Successful People in the World's Daily Agenda.

1. Get up early.
2. Have breakfast.
3. Take chances.
4. Trust others.
5. Make concrete goals, with timelines, outcomes and who-will-do-what's.
6. Plan for a healthy balance in your personal life—diarise it if necessary.
7. Make mistakes—learn from them.
8. Pay yourself. Put aside ten percent of your income.
9. Start the scary things—houses, investments—as soon as possible. There will never be a 'perfect' time.
10. Work out what 'successful' actually means to you. It may not be what everyone else expects it to be.

Ten Reasons Why Singstar is Never, Ever a Good Idea.

1. You are never far enough away from civilisation to avoid annoying your fellow man.
2. It has nothing to go with skill: screeching is as effective in keeping the light inside the bar.
3. Anyone who participates in a game of Singstar is usually a wannabee with dillusions of talent.
4. These same wannabees are, most often, drawn to song choices way outside their range.
5. They put dang hard songs on there—let's just get this straight, no one but Bono can sing a U2 song. Do you understand me? Good!
6. It's addictive.
7. They give you a microphone. It is not just bad singing; it is bad singing amplified.
8. Bad singing is often accompanied by bad dancing.
9. Watching your child relative play is more painful than your adult relatives—at least adults have shame.
10. I mean, who ever wanted to hear 'Hungry like a Wolf' again anyway, and again, and again, and again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ten Admirable Qualities of Baked Beans.

1. Cheap.
2. Quick.
3. Yummy.
4. Nutritious.
5. Pre-soaked.
6. Pre-sauced.
7. Readily available unless they are on sale.
8. Good for your bowel.
9. Almost a vegetable.
10. Nice cold or hot—and even, at a stretch, room or atmosphere temperature for those emergency snack or meal options where a fridge or stove is not available.

Ten Reasons or Incidents that Lead me to Believe I May be Susceptible to Hypnotism.

1. I really want to buy a ShamWow.
2. I really want to buy that upside down thing. I will get back to you when I remember what I meant by that.
3. I really wanted to buy that weird machine that you lie on and kick away from a trampoline type contraption on the end and you lose weight lying down and kicking off a trampoline casually.
4. I am almost always half asleep anyway.
5. I have the ability to empty my mind--or it's empty already.
6. I went to the shops after a marshmallow ad.
7. I believe a well told lie.
8. I'm sucked in by a tall tale.
9. I like day-dreaming, night-dreaming, and that odd dream space between.
10. I misplace time. Example: I sit down to google something small and insignificant; three hours later I realise I am still on the computer and three hours just went past.

Ten Crime Authors, their Detectives, and their Je Ne Sais Quoi.

*Ultimately, I would like to read some of these series' all the way through. As usual, I cannot just do one, I am currently working through Reichs, Rankin, Robinson (the three r's was accidental) and Larsson. I'll see how I go with the rest.

1. Raymond Chandler; Philip Marlowe; the quintessential hard-boiled dick, highly moral, a chess and poetry lover, and never fooled by the femme-fatales.
2. S. S. Van Dine; Philo Vance; in keeping with the simply divine names, this crime solver is a foppish dandy, a New York vivant, who loves art, breeds dogs and fences. So Oscar Wilde my darlings.
3. Kathy Reichs; Temperance Brennan; a female forensic anthropologist—she plays with bones—taking the forensic genre one step further. She has her 'dick 'counterpart's problem with alcohol, and contends, on top of all else, with Quebecian French.
4. Dashiell Hammet; Sam Spade; distilled 'dick'. Sam Spade is who you channel when you want to do noir.
5. Stieg Larsson; Lisbeth Salander; the grown up version, according to her author, of Pippy Longstocking. Look where trouble gets you. Photographic memory is a billy-bonus too.
6. Peter Robinson; Detective Inspector Alan Banks. He seems like just your average jo-blow police member. Worked his way up the ranks and out of his wife's affection. Two kids; a little refined; small town England kind of a guy; tough when he has to be.
7. Ian Rankin; Detective Inspector John Rebus. Rebus is the lone, hard-boiled dick transposed into the police force. Police politics and struggles with colleagues are inevitable. Fabulously termed, in Wikipedia (so sorry to use this as a source), Tartan-noir. Love it.
8.James Patterson; Alex Cross. No list of crime writers can be without James Patterson. No single crime writer has the same level of smarts. There is something about him that makes me dislike him immensely. He is not a crime writer, he is a marketing machine. You have to admire him, even if it seems to make writing into business. Any dislike would undoubtably be jealousy. Poo-poohing on account of a detriment to the purity of the form, only envy. Patterson has many protagonists, but possibly the most famous is Alex Cross. African American psychologist who operates a private practise, but moonlights for the Maryland Police Department and FBI. His women often die. A bad guy to date perhaps.
9. Jeffery Deaver; Lincoln Rhyme. Alex Cross reminded me about Lincoln Rhyme. Now, he is an odd protagonist. Exceptionally grumpy, quadraplegic. He can control only his head and shoulders and one finger. He is like no other crime solver that I know. His forte is forensics.
10. Jeff Lindsay; Dexter Morgan. Everone's favourite blood spatter analyst. Everyone's favourite serial killer. Lindsay's protagonist needs to solve crimes while avoiding being caught commiting them—makes for good tension.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Under Construction ...

Ten Things To Do on my Ravelry Queue.

Ten Medical Conditions That Make it Difficult to be an Emergency Calltaker.

1. Narcolepsy. People usually count on us to be awake throughout the duration of a call.
2. Tourettes. Them swearing at us is okay; us swearing at them is not.
3. Dyslexia. It's a fine line between quick typing getting mixed up, and a medical condition.
4. Restless Leg. It is hard enough to sit in a chair for twelve hours without your limbs contriving to go somewhere without you.
5. Depression. If you don't come with it, you may leave with it. This is not the cheery world you think it is.
6. Paranoia. See five.
7. Speaking in Tongues. This may often prove to be useful. Certainly I found it easier to decode the strange accents and mumblings on my recent trip than my buddy did.
8. Cataplexy. The myriad emotions experienced with every call would have call takers collapsing all over the control room floor.
9. Alien Hand Syndrome. Again, this may prove to be useful. Your hand, no longer in your control, could move over to the release button and disconnect the call accidently. Could management blame you? Speak to the hand.
10. Spasmodic Dysphonia. Callers, I feel, would not appreciate that your best vocal performance comes with singing, laughing or speaking in a high screech.

Ten One Use Appliances and Implements—Are they a Waste of Your Kitchen (or Other) Space?

1. Garlic Press. They are an efficient machine to do the job they do. They are also quite small. Cons: hard to clean; the one use things are usually the easiest to find in your cutlery drawer but only when you are looking for something else. Verdict: On size, a stayer.
2. Fairy Floss Machine. Large. Extremely one use—only sugar does that stringy thing needed to get this effect, and only one type of sugar works. It also requires having a spare jar of sugar thats been dyed pink. I have used mine once in about eight years. Verdict: From pure practicality, this machine has no hope, but its potential fun factor means the box takes vital space regardless.
3. Caffetiere.
4. Holepunch.
5. Shoehorn.
6. Apple corer and peeler.
7. Those lever things that you put into an open bottle of wine, but which actually spend most of their life in the bottom of your cutlery drawer.
8. Butter Dish.
9. Fondue set.
10. Stove top Jaffle maker.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ten Stunning Nebulae.

1. Horsehead. Directions: Just below the left hand star on Orion's belt.

2. Helix. Directions: Constellation of Aquarius

3. Swan. Aka Omega. Directions: Constellation of Sagittarius.

4. Cat's Eye. Directions: Constellation of Draco—northern hemisphere.

5. Boomerang. (And apparently also one of the coldest places in the Universe. I want to live there.) Aka the Bow Tie. Directions: Centaurus constellation which is home to our close friend Alpha Centauri.

6. Rosette. Directions: Monoceros constellation—sitting at the far end of the Milky Way, to the left of Orion, near Gemini and Betelguese. (The latter is in Orion but I just wanted to say it.)

7. Orion. Directions: Um, in Orion maybe. Actually South thereof, and visible to the naked eye.

8. Bubble. Directions: Cassiopeia constellation. Another one to spot from the northern hemisphere.

9. Trifid. Directions: Near the Swan in Sagittarius.
10. Flame. Directions: This nebula also hangs out in Orion, near the left hand star on his belt as well.

Ten Ways to Get (Nearly) Sprung Having a Small 'r' with Someone that Other People May Know.

* Some of these may not have nearly happened. Some were avoided through fate, or a last minute panic that required standing around looking suspicious, trying to work out the best way to handle things inconspicuously.

1. Having a birthday lunch at the Pelican Pantry in Hastings.
2. Sharing a table at Villa and Hut at South Wharf.
3. Blogging a list of near misses on the World Wide Web.
4.Shopping at Coles in Balaclava.
5. Getting picked up after work at RV points 1, 2 or 3. Four is possibly a lot safer.
6. Meeting an old colleague at Chaddy, who, it turns out, has a partner whose mother just married the 'person who people may know's' senior work colleague. That takes some decoding.
7. Running into someone who knows your someone at duty free at the Airport—the one after customs. There is no coincedence that can explain that away believably.
8. Showing someone your holiday snaps.
9. Both being, coincedently, charged with offensive behaviour, skinny dipping at Point Cook Marine National Park.
10. Inappropriate touching in company.

Ten Rather Odd Sounding Things that Need to be Checked Out: As Found in the Small Print, in the Wee Hours, of the Melways.

1. 133 J2: Near the Intersection of Sth Gippy and Camms in Cranbourne—Meteorite Display. (Sighted—admittedly from a moving vehicle)
2. 102 H4: Nursery/Craig, Frankston—Frankston Homing Pigeon Club.
3. 431 F8: Monastery/Bluestone Ridge, Lovely Banks—Kiev Ukranian Village.
4. 441 J3: Morgan/Rodney, North Geelong—Seagull Paddock. (What?)
5. 64 K9: Boronia/Albert, Boronia—A really big flag.
6. 205 D8: Walls/Charinga, Werribee—Sensory Garden.
7. 451 G9: Barrabool/Riverglen, Belmont—Australia shaped island in a lake, complete with footbridge to Tassie.
8. 93 B8: Longbeach/Kinross, Edithvale—Friends of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands Duck-In
9. 30 F8: Seperation/Hopetoun, Northcote—Winding walking path to the centre.
10. 207 H9: Alamanda/Yuruga, Pt Cook—Bayview Park with its man made hill with adventure playground and super long slide.

Ten Funny Reminisces about my Sister, D—, on her Birthday.

1. Being the pink for my green. She is so not the pink now.
2. Dobbing us in for stealing sweets at nap time.
3. Dobbing me in for climbing out our window in the middle of the night.
4. Unconsciously drunk (aka asleep), wearing a blonde wig, askew, at my twenty-first birthday Murder mystery-Mexican and Marguarita party.
5. Cruising the Whitsundays—the couple having the baby—and helping me remeber the power of a touch.
6. Being our 'savior' when we stepped in the river near home. (Drama Queen!)
7. Letting me reveal the ugly truth about the existence of Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy—because that gossip was too big for a single person to bear.
8. Paying and replaying, the 100mt, 200mt, 400mt, 1500mt, 100mt relay .... at least four hundred times on the Commonwealth Games Board Game, and never, ever, advancing to any other game in the event because we always had to start at the beginning!
9. Jumping on polystyrene surfboards until they disintegrated into looking like a bean bag exploded in the pool. Then having to clean it all up with a sieve.
10. Wearing bottom marks in the chairs at 'the usual', to be my great coffee, breaky and chat buddy. Oh, and another coffee.

Love you D—. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ten Songs to Listen to While Running Around Albert Park Lake

* Beetroot faced.
** In reverse order. Compliled with the aid of the back button on the i-pod--the trauma of the actual action of running around Albert Park Lake (4.1kms) does not allow for manual memory recall.

1. .toab ykael a ni shtnom xiS
2. .dnah rehto eht nO
3. .nam rehcaerp a fo noS
4. .thginot ehcatraeH
5. .thgindim retfa gniklaW
6. .liacepS gnihtemoS
7. .efac esenihC
8. .nos dna rehtaF
9. .wohs on pots t'nod yeknom enO
10. . ixat wolley giB

Okay. So, following on the premise of my first blog--that lists teach us about who we are--what does this entry reveal about 'me'. I am a little nervous to delve. On the surface level, the spelling looks a lot like one of my jobs from work. My brain seems to think in one direction, but my fingers often to go in the other. A special type of dyslexia. I usually have to spend another three minutes decoding the job for the dispatchers. On another level, it pleases me that although the sentences are reversed, proper care has been taken to ensure that punctuation is correct. Capital letters, fullstops, all in place. It's a beautiful thing. Maybe I should add punctuation to my list of things too beautiful to contemplate. Or, is that 'scary' to contemplate? Another level: Mmmm, I am not altogether secure with revealing some of the extreme daginess that can be found on my i-pod playlist. Yes, there is some cool stuff there--Cat Stevens, Dusty Springfield--but Randy Travis, Bette Midler. I believe I tread a fine line between 'fringe cool' and 'complete nerd'--it's an exciting place to be. And then there is the matter of why I am running around a lake in the first place. The answer is that I needed another scatter-brain scheme to get me off the couch and excersising. I was persuaded, without much persuasion, by a work colleague, who I am not convinced will follow through, to enter the Police Games, in the 'Toughest Competitor Alive' competition, this March. It comprises a 4km cross country run, a 100mt sprint, a 100mt freestyle swim, shotput, a 7mt rope climb, chin-ups, bench press and an obstacle course. That seems all well and good, you say, but I am actually a fatty-boom-bah with a moderate fitness level and no arm strength. Hence, I am madly in training. Why do I do this to myself? A question with no answer perhaps.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ten False Names I Could Give if I was a Miss Universe Hopeful Trying to Evade a Charge of Driving Without a Licence.

1. Michelle Goldingay. (Nom de Maree. It would come off the top of my mind quickly, seem slightly like the truth, and still slow paperwork down long enough for me to move to another country.)
2. Juniper de Vie. (Pseudonym)
3. Rhapsody de Fruit. (Pronounced: Fwee) (Nom de Drag)
4. CE Colin. (Nom de Plume) (Stands for Colin Eustice Colin: attempts to be illustrious, attempts to be male. Really, how many Noble Peace Prize winning authors are female?)
5. September Allen. (Nom de Plume: Mills and Boon)
6. Error. (Nom de Hip Hop et Crumping)
7. Stella Disario. (Courtesy of S) (Nom de Plume: Crime Fiction)
8. Taile Aftonwold. (Nom de Plume: Erotica) (Pinched the old first-pet, first-street trick for establishing porn names and made it a little new age with the 'e' on my cat Tail's name.)
9. Fi-fi le Monde. (Nom de Plume: Advice Columnist) (Thanks Isabella--it's perfect. Fi-fi engenders just the level of seriousness an advice columnist should have, le Monde shows her worldliness. I love it. Do I owe you royalties?)
10. Siempre Caracola (Nom de Lucha Libre) (Again Isabella, thanks. Isabella suggested Sometimes Shellii. This name also has a ring of truth. That made me recall that siempre (always) is one of my favorite spanish words. Shellii or shell doesn't translate (on my dictionary.com translator) but caracola is a conch. It rolls fabolously off the tongue: 'And in the right hand corner, weighing in at %^$&pounds, Sssssssiieeeempreee Caracoooolaaaaaa!" Waaaa, hooooo! The crowd goes wild.) (oh, dear)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ten Things that are so Beautiful they Make your Heart Hurt.

1. Bodhi.

2. Riding your bike home at 0230 in the morning when there is no-one else on the roads and the moon is your own.
3. Sunshine on greenery on a cloudy grey day; the kind that makes the greens sing.
4. Lightning over the ocean, sighted from a beach house on a cliff. (Extra points if it's your very own beach house.)
5. Plain and simple: The Ocean, fullstop.
6. The infinite delicacy of a tiny bird.
7.Tumbling, twisting combinations of cloud and sun.
8. Being shown, through someone's eyes, that you have made an impression in their life.
9.Original and beautiful writing.
10. Well made, quirky craft items. Shoes, accesories, jewellery. I ache to make something of such beauty—as I do with 9.

Ten Heat Related Grumpinesses

1. The neighbours air-conditioning is too loud. You're grumpy because you don't have air-conditioning.
2. Jet skiis are endangering swimmers. You are grumpy because you are between the flags with fourteen thousand other swimmers and you suspect at least three children in your immediate vicinity have raised the water temperature with their urine.
3. People are breaking into the neighbour's pool. You're grumpy for a number of reasons--none of which include concern for your neighbour. Why does he have a pool and you don't anyway? Why didn't you think of that? You did think of it but you didn't have the chutz-pah to do it? You did think of it, but now a bunch of louts has beaten you to it.
4. Nakedness. You are grumpy because you feel the world doesn't deserve to see YOU naked. Also, all your natural fibre clothing is in the wash, so there is only man-made options in your wardrobe.
5. The power is out on a rotational system. Only your suburb feels like that song that comes up all the time, no matter how many times you reshuffle your i-pod.
6. No-one has slept for at least four days. You are grumpy because today alone you have experienced road, sidewalk, trail, photocopier, slurpy machine and fridge door rage.
7. Cold air blows from underground carparks of buildings burning fossil fuels to keep every room an icy twenty-two degrees.You are grumpy because you are unable gain access to your underground carpark through crowds camped out on sun-lounges taking in the breeze.
8. The grass is brown and prickly. You're grumpy because its marginally less painful to cross your lawn jumping from bindi to bindi.
9. There are 3A water restrictions in place. You are grumpy because it is impossible to run the tap long enough, within you daily allowance, to actually get cold water to flow.
10. And, lastly, you are just plain grumpy because movement means sweat, and the whole day is spent moving too and from the door to try and work out if it is hotter inside than out, or outside than in.

Ten Things to Spend my (approx) $150 of Overtime Money on.

* I know, you thought I never did overtime. You thought I always said that I have a 48 hour per rotation threshold before I lost all will to be civil to callers. Well, it was overtime in an air-conditioned building or sleep through a thirty degree night in a non-airconditioned bed. Which would you choose? And now I can go shopping.

1. Pair of Irregular Choice shoes. (See: http://www.irregularchoice.com/, and help me decide which ones)
2. A refrigerated air-conditioning unit.
3. A massage.
4. Start an ING account to save for a deposit. (Boring!) (Sensible!) (Oh, stop fighting you two)
5. Lots of panadol. (I am not sure if it was the overtime, or the riding to work in forty-four degrees that gave me the stunner, but I need more panadol, now!)
6. Renew my Yoga subscription.
7. A very cute dangly bracelet.
8. Three visits to Gold Class. (Let's start with Sherlock Holmes. Robert is doing for Holmes what Johnny did for pirates. I am intrigued.)
9. Off Broadway Last Minute Tix. (Eek, holidays are so close now!)
10. Jet Hovercraft thingy (you know the ones) through the Everglades.

And those were just the sensible options. I mean, I could have bought more books!

Ten Fabulous Quotes from Lord Henry Wotton

* From Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

1. ... the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
2. ... she is a peacock in everything but beauty.
3. Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
4. I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.
5. The only way to get rid of a tempation is to yield to it.
6. To get back one's youth, one has merely to repeat one's follies.
7. She was a curious woman whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest.
8. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say but they say it charmingly.
9. When one is on love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others.
10. Most people become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose of life. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honour.

Ten Magic Millions Horses Picked for their Names (and why) as a Time Passing Exercise at Work.

1. Esbend. (Hee, hee. Toilet Humour)
2. Power of Ed. (Sounds like a weird type of Maths) (Winner)
3. With Apologies. (Makes me think the owners never thought it was ever going to win and they are sorry to any punters who may decide to put a bet on it. I wished it well.)
4. Albert the Fat. (This is either a really unfortunate moniker for a King, or a horse that, again, needs all the support it can get because there is no way a fat horse is going to win. Is there?)
5. Seesawing. (I love seesawing.)
6. Temple of Boom. (It just sounded like a good title for a movie.)
7. Red Belly Black. (Alliterating, it trips nicely across the keyboard.)
8. Walking or Dancing. (Both good things to do. This horse will possibly do either and in fact it did the latter.) (Winner)
9. Blue Jupiter. (It's like space and juniper berries in a single name.)
10. Hindsight. (In the end, we would put money down if we had this wouldn't we?)

Turns out that had I put money down I would have come out in front. But, if I had put money down, would the results have been the same?

Ten Considerations of 'Wouldn't it be weird if ...'

1. You were sitting in your car and someone came up and licked your windscreen.
2. You were in a restaurant, having a lovely, romantic dinner, and the fire brigade turned up, hoses at the ready, because it was a day of total fire-ban and there was a candle on your table.
3. You could hear something snoring in your ceiling.
4. You were burgled, and the thieves only took the window through which they broke into your house—or your bananas.
5. You bought a coconut last week and it suddenly, today, started ticking.
6. You were having a garage sale over the weekend and someone broke into your garage and sprayed all the stuff you were selling black, and then, insult to injury, then popped all your garage sale advertisement balloons.
7. You couldn’t leave your house because the neighbours had washed their car and you were hemmed in by soap suds all over your yard.
8. You went to bed and there was a family in it. And it was not your family.
9. You thought there was a crocodile in your suburban pond, at least a meter long, and everyone was petrified, but when the reptile catcher guy rattled the grass, a thirty centimetre lizard wandered out.
10. You hung your new stretchy, size ten lycra pants on your clothes horse. When you left home for a while they were nearly dry, but when you came back they were soaking wet, the elastic was all worn out and now they were size fourteens. You, of course, think this is more of the work of your evil drug-dealer neighbours.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ten Birds Sighted at the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

* Well turns out I only saw two birds at the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens so the rest had to be salvaged from the journey to and from--lucky I was watching out of the window on the trip!

1. Male Blue Wren.
2. Honeyeater.
3. Pelican (Albert Park Lake).
4. Black Swan (APL).
5. Native Hen (APL).
6. Crow (En route from Port Melbourne to Cranbourne somewhere).
7. Magpie (Cranbourne Race Course).
8. Magpie Lark (En route from Cranbourne to Prahran somewhere).
9. Indian Minor (Prahran).
10. Willy Wagtail (Somewhere, I am sure I saw one somewhere).

Ten Cathartic Acts

1. Writing lists about something that makes you unhappy. (And not necessarily publishing it on the world wide web)
2. Cutting up something that makes you unhappy into a million pieces, putting it in the bin and listening out for the garbage truck to take it away in the cool of a summer morning.
3. Telling the truth when and where it needs to be told. (What seems, to you, like the truth, that is, as there is no absolute, real truth. Truth is a fallacy.)
4. Poetry--or poetastery--depending on your prowess in this department.
5. Just open up to someone--on a train, or a tram or a busstop. (A slight amount of oddness is expected in these sorts of places.)
6. Paint your adversary's likeness on a ping-pong ball, and then play hard.
7. Acceptance. Realising that sometimes things just are the way they are can set you free. Don't fight it.
8. Add horns and a funny mustache to the picture on their face book site.
9. List them on RSVP.com with attributes that are likely to attract the more odd sort of person as a match.
10. Walk in the rain, cursing about what irks you. Getting the curse outside of your body, to be washed away by rain, cleanses your soul.

Ten Things That are a Little Scary to Contemplate.

1. There is nothing in the DISPLAN box. (I saw).
2. Oppenheimer et al., apparently, weren't entirely sure, the first time they let off a nuclear bomb, that it wouldn't destroy the whole world. They did it anyway.
3. If I had waited for the green man that time on Footscray Rd, like I always did, I would now be dead.
4. In less than a decade I will be fifty.
5. You can't get missed opportunities back. Often, too, the regrets are obvious. Why does it seem so humanly impossible to appreciate what we have now for what it really is instead of the annoyance we think it is.
6. During a lifetime you eat at least four spiders in your sleep. This is apparently an urban myth, but the people who dispel it as so do also say they you should be aware that there is a good chance that processed foods can inadvertently contain 'bug parts'. Mmmm, I think I would prefer the whole bug—my luck, I just get the bottom.
7. I weigh more than my significant other. Can anything be more of a deterrent to eating sweets? It would appear not.
8. An event like 9/11 makes everything different in an instant. Then it is too late to tell someone that you love them.
9. Coupledom. It is scary enough to work out what is happening in one brain without having to do the same for a second brain which you can't access. and which is weighed and counter-weighed with expectations and precedences which may or may not exist. Coupledom is, sorry to cliche it, a minefield. But it's a minefield that you really want to frolic through.
10. Even if I spend every single day in my hammock, on the couch, or in bed, reading; on a train, in a plane, at an airport, reading; in a library, in a locked room away from all the world, reading, I will never read all the books I want to read. I may not even read all the books on my to-read pile.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ten Inadvertent Google Searches

* Courtesy to Zoo magazine for the idea for this list. (No, I wasn't reading it! Someone just told me about it and then I accidently looked at all the pages.)

** The words in brackets were typed into the box; the rest came up as a possible option.

1. (Why) is a raven like a writing desk.
2. (Is it) normal to finger yourself.
3. (Is it strange) to dance so soon.
4. (What does) 3 mean.
5. (Can I) get pregnant from a dog.
6. (Is it wrong) to sleep with your sister.
7. (Where does) snot come from.
8. (My sister) is a retard.
9. (Does a) duck's quack echo.
10. (Is Google) god.

I wonder what the weirdest question I ever put into Google was. Does someone in the world have a list like this in which my question appears? In order to generate these options, someone obviously was querying the godliness of Google, the echo-ability of a duck's quack, and, the we-wont-even-go-near-what with man's best friend. How on earth did we work these things out before the internet? Where is my duck?

Ten Homework Avoidance Tactics

1. Sleeping an hour past the alarm clock.
2. Booking Rail Tickets from Washington DC to New York City.
3. Researching Space Shuttle launches.
4. Signing up for a free Myki card.
5. Cursing the Australian Embassy in Washington's laziness in not assisting its citizens to negotiate the red-tape required for a White House Tour.
6. Internet Banking.
7. Finishing all remaining Christmas pastries in the house.
8. Searching for books that I found last time I looked for them.
9. Moisterising.
10. Discussing the horses of Kyneton and garbage truck disasters on the Great Ocean Road with boys.

I am avoiding trying to decide what it is I am writing my thesis about. As mentioned already, I am looking at Nip/Tuck and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I am getting confused about what it is to actually study literature. In my undergraduateness I would just go to an extreme end of a theory and see if I could argue it. One day I would be a Marxist, the next a Feminist and the next a Formalist. I am a literary chameleon. I like to act and take on the colours of a theory; play around in its skin. I don't actually hold any beliefs. Its the ultimate in fence sitting. Now I feel I have to really have some sort of theory. It's hard. I started wanting to argue something along the lines of the pathological narcissist being the new 'ideal' which people in the Western world aim toward. I seem to want to make comment on the deterioration of society. It seems to come out like a lecture. Now I am thinking along the lines of whether it is considered better, in our here and now, to look good than to be good. And, I am beginning to think that you could argue that individualisation and the self-creation of morals allows for that to be true; that in order to make meaning in the twenty-first century we look to self-creation and decadence as opposed to what is deemed 'naturally' moral--that is what comes from a moral code that proceeds us but is in truth no less 'fake' than this approach. You see, in my sub-conscious this all makes sense. It is just when I try to put it down in words that it starts to sound like someone let me out of a funny-farm.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ten Things to do at the Todd Rd. Service Station While Waiting for the RACV

1. Play Scrabble.
2. Brouse the merchandise at the shop.
3. Have lunch at KFC.
4. Watch the myriad fault messages flashing on the car's dashboard.
5. Spend money over the phone.
6. Meet new people who all happen to drive yellow vehicles.
7. Update your Cloud Collectors book with your recently collected Astrocumulus and Kelvin-Helmholtz.
8. Make a video.
9. Explore new toilet facilities.
10. Realise lots of things are not really worth worrying about.

It's strange, but day one and two of this year have come to the same conclusion. I had been a great grumpy-pants before I arrived at the petrol station and the car broke down. Really, there is nothing, nothing, NO thing, worth worrying about. It is the most futile of all human pursuits. Why do we enjoy to do it so much? What can we control anyway? All we can control is the way we react. So, it turns out there is actually quite a lot to do at the urban island more commonly known as the service station. The battery was flat. We just had to wait. And yes, I think I have a Kelvin-Helmholtz. You be the judge:

** Compare at: http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/gallery/index.php?x=browse&category=40&pagenum=1

Ten New Year's Resolutions that won't last a week

1. Lose 1.5 kgs a month for a year.
2. Work out what my thesis is about.
3. Keep my cool on every call.
4. Make a top ten list everyday and blog it.
5. Write.
6. Be creative.
7. Clear my junk.
8. Be brave; take chances.
9. Save up a deposit. Addendum: ING account opened and saving incentive in place. Goal: $25000.
10. Don't worry about the small stuff.

Every year starts with a project. One year I took a polaroid photo every day. That lasted into February. I have the photos on my wall; they are an interesting artwork. Another year I went digital. I took a photo a day and that lasted well into July. That project highlighted two things for me: I walk the same way most of the time, and, you have to look closer and closer into the details of things when you see them everyday. Last year, I was going to do whatever my stars said to do according to the wacky predictions of Free Will Astrology (check it out--it's completely fabulous). I diligently wrote down every prediction until September. There were not the plethora of suggested activities I imagined, or, I was not creative/motivated enough to conceive them. I did do one thing as instructed: I made a shrine to my [girlie bits] from crocheted red wool. I still want to incorporate it into a moss green mohair scarf. I am looking for the right wool. It sits on my desk now and mystifies people as to its nature. While production was down on that project, there certainly is an encouraging increase in staying power. Maybe this year's project will last all year.

Why lists? I love lists. And I am already discovering that lists tell you something about yourself--like all art does. This blog is lost in the outer reaches of netspace. I am not confident that people will read it. I probably am hoping some won't. With all that in mind, maybe this project is just another way for me to work out a little bit more about myself.

This list tells me (and you) the following:
I am possibly overweight because eighteen kilos over a year is not going to make me too skinny. I am also not gung-ho about cutting out all the good foods and the couch sessions in one shot. I am studying. I am doing Honours and writing a thesis around Nip/Tuck and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I just have no idea of what orbit around them I am taking. I have lost my way somewhat ... I'll think about that later if I may. I work in a call centre--you may have deduced. A call centre where you are not always at your calmest. I am a emergency calltaker for the police. People are not always calm, rational or sober or sane. That's understandable. and usually easier to cope with. Non-involved, do-gooders, though, are often ridiculously rude and I have trouble staying 'nice'. I would like to change this behaviour. My work environment is a great source of lists. You will probably hear back from this quarter. Resolution four to six are related: they show I like to do and make and create things; they show I have to be encouraged to do that because I don't just fall to it; they show I am of the opinion that I will already not be doing them by next week. I hope I am wrong. I live in a house with no cupboards and I like to keep things just-in-case. I have fears. I am not a good saver. and I seem to like to worry--otherwise I wouldn't keep doing it.

To transcend, you need to know what is. To transcend, you need to accept.