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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ten Last Placed Countries in Eurovision for the Last Ten Years.

* Courtesy of http://www.eurovision.tv/

1. 2010: United Kingdom.
2. 2009: Finland.
3. 2008: United Kingdom.
4. 2007: Ireland.
5. 2006: Malta.
6. 2005: Germany.
7. 2004: Norway.
8. 2003: United Kingdom.
9. 2002: Denmark.
10. 2001: Equal last, Iceland and Norway.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ten Crazy Eurovision Outfits, or, Ten Outfits it Wouldn't be Eurovision Without.

* These are placed in order of appearance and do not reflect a judgemental order of craziness.

1. Me of Australia: Ranking on the final tally - N/A. As usual, Eurovision night means dressing-up night for 4 P—— St. B—— emulated Russia's grunge-rock-band-at-a-gig look, including scarf, and that was without actually changing outfits. My outfit (above) channels the UK channelling Eastern Europe. A double channel.
2. Safura of Azerbaijan: 5th. I believe that Eurovision was inspired this year by my hiking gear of last year—ballgown with a short train at front (mine had none) and long train at back, fluffy tu-tu style. Safura has a dress inspired by the sea on colour; vertical ruching; hiking gear skirt. Her piece-de-resistance was her one sparkly blue glove which was fingerless on the first three fingers and full-fingered on the last two. A tribute to Michael I think. The beauty of the hiking style skirt is undoubtedly its compatibility with the Eurovision wind-machine. Just Nice. Nice.
3. Daniel Diges of Spain: 15th. While Daniel was a little tame in a silver suit with white shirt, he did have a Leo Sayer hair-do, a circus in silver, white and magenta as back-up, and a guerrilla Eurovision performer who gatecrashed the party, necessitating Spain having to sing again (oh no!) at the end of the show.
4. Sunstroke Project and Olia Tira of Moldova: 22nd. A vision in budgie. Shoulder pads are in this year, and a very piratesque Finland won a couple of years ago so this outfit may be a combination of the two inspirations, combined with a homage to the humble budgerigar. The song started with a violinist on a lazy susan, and progressed to a Pink-like singer with a space age corset and tu-tu ensemble, budgie make-up mask across her eyes and thigh high budgie trimmed boots. I know there is no winner in this list, but if there were, this would be it!
5. Milan Stankovic of Serbia: 13th. The Fringe of Eurovision 2010. There was, this year, a penchant for costumes carrying the colours of the national flag. Milan wore blue tails over white pants and shirt and a big red flower on his jacket. His back up was in white with touches of red. Without that fringe though Milan was unlikely to make this list. He was quoted as saying that it was a fringe made for the stage, not your everyday hair-do.
6. 3+2 of Belarus: 24th. It all seemed sedate: two boys in suits, three ladies in long, sparkly, gold, silver and bronze ball dresses. Like a conservative committee handing out medals at the Olympic games. First sign something was amiss was the ladies 'Charlies Angels' hair-dos. And then the big reveal as gold, silver and bronze butterfly wings popped up from behind the backs of the ladies as the song, 'Butterflies' reached its crescendo. It was beautiful. That was sarcasm.
7. maNga of Turkey: 2nd. The best part of this sculptural-leather-rock outfitted band was the cyborg welder back-up dancer who slowly stripped off her codpieces and other armoural paraphernalia to reveal her almost butterfly like metamorphosis in leather and organza. Nice.
8. Alyosha of the Ukraine: 10th. Her eco messaged song with its 'End of the World is Nigh' mood was lovingly teamed with Death's cape and a flowery, windblown, possibly post-apocalyptic summer frock. 'Strange' may be overused but it works perfectly here.
9. Eva Rivas of Armenia: 7th. She was stunningly lovely; the tallest competitor; relaxed in an apricot hiking frock over white sparkly jeans and bare feet, but her back-up consisted of a ghoulish looking 'family' and a giant apricot. This was rock opera, with characters and narrative. It filled its three minute spot abundantly.
10. Harel Skaat of Israel: 14th. It disappoints me to put a man in a black suit on the list of craziest Eurovision outfits. I think Eurovision is losing sight of why we like it. We don't like it for the songs or the international camaraderie. We like it for its camped up craziness, bad outfits, bad hair, white suits. There were people with jeans and guitars this year! That is not kosher. Harel makes it only because he looked like a Hebrew Tom Cruise circa Days of Thunder. As long as he didn't open his mouth.

Ten Language Learning Options to Download for my Walk: Please Vote.

* I am going to load a podcast to learn a language for my walk—I just can't decide which one so I need your help. Please vote for the language you think I should learn. Voting closes eight pm, Eastern Standard Time on the Tenth of June, 2010. The winner will be announced at some time after that. I will not be adding any commentary such as I am getting the hang of Spanish and so it would be sensible to carry on, or, I was Russian in another life, or, I am walking along the Welsh border, because that may influence votes. I just want people to vote with their instict and their sense of right and wrong.

1. German. Votes: 4
2. Spanish. Votes: 5
3. Mandarin Chinese. Votes: 0
4. Arabic. Votes: 2
5. Korean. Votes: 0
6. Welsh. Votes: 6
7. Portuguese. Votes: 1
8. Russian. Votes: 5
9. Hindi. Votes: 1
10. French. Votes: 5

Vote Now!

The final huit, dix et douze 'pwong' will, as per Eurovision, be allocated by an independent panel and announced after all the performances and the country votes are completed.

And the winner (without the panel's vote, as I am happy with the result) is Welsh!

And then, I forgot to upload it to my i-Pod. Eek.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Under Construction ...

Ten Poetic Moments Inspired by the Everyday.

1. Narcissus galah, wire-settled,
    admires, preens,
    mirrored in a sun-rise dressing table sky.

Ten Randomly Generated Fake Identities.

* Thanks to http://www.fakenamegenerator.com, and, no, I don't know why either.

1. Ellie Marie is a fifty-two year old Media Director from Glanville, South Australia. She is a Libran who likes 'pina coladas and getting caught in the rain'. If you get her pop culture reference, are into donating B+ blood and shorty chubby women (5'4" and between 85 and 95 kgs—to be coy), call her on (08) 8219 5283.
2. Alannah Devine changed her name by deed poll in 1976 after deciding to do it at a drunken party the night before. She has this part of her that feels she has to follow through when she says she will do something—it's the Capricorn nature. It's the same nature that has seen her celebrate, on her fifty-sixth birthday last year, her thirty-fifth year of nursing—although now she is more on the admin' side of things because of the resulting bad back and knee joints. She doesn't believe in all that star sign malarky though. It doesn't get you though each day and back home to make dinner for her husband and kids on their farmlet in Oombulgurri, Western Australia, clean up, do the chores and back again in the morning. For that, all you need is practicality and boring sensibility and chocolate teddy-bear biscuits. No wonder her tiny 5'3" frame has 'blossomed' recently to over two hundred pounds. It's embarrassing, but if she says she has to do something about it, she'll have to follow through, and some days its seems it is only the biscuits that keep her sane.
3. Alice Bowhay feels like she wanted to be an engineer from the day in February when she emerged from her mother's womb into view of the silver stirrups on the birthing table. This was the humour she used to ensure working with the 'boys' never became a gender issue—which it always did anyway. It was a struggle all through her career. Women have it easy now, she mumbles to herself; making herself cross for thinking it. In my day, she cliches, it was practically unheard of to be a female and an engineer, and she worked three times as hard as any of her male,good-for-nothing colleagues to get half as far. At seventy-four though, they (the 'industry') still consult her occasionally. Teaching was always easier in the end. And now they realise how much she did. At home in Wattle Ponds, she often lets the phone ring out. It's not family. She doesn't want to hear about bad news from friends. And if its about work, well, they had me then and didn't want to hear from me—work it out yourself, she mumbles.
4. Bang, bang! Kaitlyn Weingarth jabs the air with a left and a right: 'When the house came up for rent on Punches Creek Rd in Watsons Crossing I knew it would be mine. I've only been boxing for a year, but I know it's right. You know how you know when something is just right?' The gym where Kaitlyn trains is back in town but cars are Kaitlyn's demoted second love and the thirty-five minute drive in and out, even after she already went home after work finished at three, doesn't phase her at all. It allows her to feel out the engine and make sure it's running at its best twenty-four/seven. She started her apprenticeship at sixteen at Ted's—four years ago. It was hard with all the others being men, but now people ask for her specifically when their 'baby's' come in dented and damaged and in need of tender loving care. The boxing keeps them off her back too. Not that it would matter to much if Darryl wanted to be on her back, but how do you let the wall come down for one of them and still maintain the respect with the others—they talk about their conquests every Monday morning and damned if anyone will ever talk about her like that!
5. There is something about Rachel Fairthorne that immediately puts people on edge. She is too loud for her small frame, but her loudness has a quiet quality—she could deny it if confronted, and you'd find you couldn't argue with her about it. It's social ineptitude with a don't-car attitude, and it has been like that for fifty-one years. But she gets by. Arguably on the fringe. Macksville, luckily, is a poorer kind of town—farmers and fishermen—because city people 'don't bother about trying to fix something, they just buy a new one'. And all these appliances nowadays are so badly made even Rachel despairs of repairing them. But out here people have to make do, and so she is kept in clothes and food and a roof over her head regardless what she calls the 'never-ending flood of crap'. Her 'partner', Jill, is an 'oyster catcher'. Rachel always uses inverted commas, punched into the air like an old typewriter, to describe Jill—after all these years together there is a part of her mind that still believes Jill is 'full of shit'. Last year, when Jill visited her kids in Sydney she found two badges at Smiggle: the sixty-six opening quotation marks, and the ninety-nine closing. She made them into earrings. Occasionally, she'll swap ears and then Rachel knows not to cause trouble because at that time Jill won't take it. They get by.
6. Alicia O'Leary; Banksia Beach, Queensland—that's all she'll give out (don't want some 'nutter' showing up on my doorstep unannounced; at work they are patients, at home they are 'nutters'—born the day after Christmas (great, that's one pressie a year from everyone—and don't try to tell me it is worth twice as much!). Alicia works at the Bribie Island State High School as the school psychologist. At four-thirty every afternoon she goes to her home and she doesn't come out again until she has to do it all over again. She can't work out if she hates the world because of what she has to see at school, or, if she sees what she sees at work because she hates the world. Either way, she gets unhappier every day.
7. Charlotte Tyrrell says everyone in the suburb calls her Chuffy from Duffy because, truth be known, she can count on one hand the number of times she has had to leave Duffy. There was the time the supermarket distributors went on strike for nearly two weeks and you just couldn't get bread and milk. Then there was the time that her maiden aunt in Queensland died. She is Charlotte's namesake, and stayed with her everytime she had to come to Canberra. They got on well. She had to go three times: in the last few days, for the funeral, and, surprisingly, to see the lawyers in Brisbane who told her that Aunt Charlotte had actually left her a large tract of land in Eastern Queensland. She has someone caretaking it now. She had felt so odd being away from home those last three times that she swore she would never do it again. If the supermarket ever runs out of bread again, the neighbour's daughter has a car now and tolerates the odd conversation with Chuffy—she'll just ask her to go.
8. Isabelle Nixon, 12 Meyer rd, Sandleton SA, Jan 23, 44, 67yo, Copy marker, 80kgs, 160cms: For forty-seven years Isabelle marked copy. From the day she turned twenty, the January after she finished her two year TAFE course, until a few weeks ago when someone in the HR department realised she had gone two years beyond retirement, she had sat over text with a red pencil and made corrections, licking at its tip before each corrective stroke. A few years ago they had tried to get her to stop using red. ‘It gives the impression that you are being judgemental’, someone tried to tell her. ‘I am being judgemental’ she replied. ‘Tell them that if they don’t like red all over their copy, they can just send it to me without any mistakes.’ She feels lost now. It was so sudden, even though she knew she was on borrowed time. ‘I’ve got hundreds of years to live Jeannie’, she tells her housemate and best friend of forty-nine years, ‘what on earth will I do with them now?’ She sits on her couch and strokes the cat. Beside her are a box of red pencils and a stack of magazines and books. If she finds more than ten mistakes in any given publication, she walks down to the public library, tackles the photocopy machine and dispatches a letter of complaint to the given publisher. It has made her a little more optimistic about the future—there is nary a day which doesn’t involve a walk down to the library.
9. Anna Leehy, 25 Normans rd, Bringalbert, vic, dec 3, 1971, 39yo, apt house manager, 49kgs, 5’7: It’s like a dream. Anna started working as the house manager at the apartments about a year ago. If you have a mobile and don’t go too far away from town, there is no reason why you can’t do whatever you like, whenever you like. They pay me to water-ski she tells her friends. And she is always on the water. After being brought up on a farm about fifty kilometres from Bringalbert, the little town seems enormous in comparison. There is always someone new to meet. Imagine never having the sensation of the person in front of you being an absolute stranger—that is what life was like. You just always knew everybody around you since time began. Now she strikes up conversations and searches for novelties in strangers whenever she can. It’s her new hobby, and everyone in town seems enlivened by the fact that they, in turn, are seen as something new and exciting for a change. It is like a cool breeze is blowing through town, and the usually still lake is lapping at the shore for the first time in no-one-knows how long.
10. Isabel Reimann, 34 Shirley st, Russell Island, QLD, October 20, 1973, 37yo, Labor Trainer, 86kgs, 5’5: Isabel is in a catch-twenty-two. She moved onto Russell Island to get away, but there is no work and now she can’t get away. What was she thinking? The answer is she wasn’t. It was a matter of move now, get away, go to where he will never find her again. She got there but will it ever get better? She gets by with bartering. Slowly the other people who live on the island are letting her do chores and jobs in exchange for food and items for the house. There is even one seemingly nice lady who stops by Isabel’s fence occasionally and chats. The good thing about having no money is she can’t buy alcohol. It was hard at the start, but now it is like she feels a little stronger and a little further away with each day. Baby steps Izzy. That’s what her mum always used to say. When you have run a thousand miles, it takes a while before you can slow your heart down again, before you can breathe into life again. When her heart beats wildly in her chest, she walks to the end of the island and looks out into the grey Pacific Ocean, and it calms her because she knows that there is nowhere further to run and from here it all baby steps.

Ten Slightly Un-Celebrity Things About a Courtesy Toyota Starlet.

1. Its extreme smallness and insignificance. It does not stand out in a celebrity type fashion.
2. Its vulnerability between yourself and the world is no celebrity skin.
3. Its entertainment system is … well, non-existent.
4. Its boot does not have room for even the most conservative LV suitcase—maybe a make-up bag would fit, but need to have someone remove the detritus.
5. Its ability to park on a dime means that there is no large and ostentatious arrival which attracts the attention of media and paparazzi. It’s hard to tell from that sentence whether that is a good or a bad thing isn’t it?
6. It looks quite ridiculous with the small flags on either side of the bonnet and a motor cavalcade.
7. Red carpet frocks get caught in the doors and sweep mechanic’s guck up with their edges.
8. It’s a coupe: makes it a little awkward for hotel doormen.
9. Its broken door handle means both that it doesn’t live up to the perfection of the celebrity lifestyle (not the least of the reason it doesn’t however), and, that there is an ungraciousness in coming in through the passenger side.
10. Its lack of vanity mirror undermines everything vain about celebrity.

P.s: Thanks A——: Of course, one of the most celeb things about the Starlet is its name!!

Ten of my Favourite Johnny Depp Movies.

1. Benny and Joon. Eccentric and full of amazingly mad characters. Great dialogues and lines: the wrongness of raisins; 'she was given to fits of semi-precious metaphors'; Sam's movie moments; making toasted cheese sandwiches with the iron—Rayon setting. A positive look at the mentally ill—'I mean, except for being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal'.
2. Donny Brasco. Am I a friend of yours, or, a friend of ours?
3. Nick of Time. It's point-of-difference was that it played in ninety-minutes of real time.
4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sublime cinematography with black-and-white-ness with a slash of red.
5. Public Enemies. This is the antithesis of Donny Brasco.
6. Sleepy Hollow. Just like it because it is spooky and romantically historic. And as usual, Johnny is a quirky character who doesn't quite fit in with the rest of society.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. I love that the character of Jack Sparrow is brought to life by Depp by channeling Keith Richards. It's the best of recontextualisations.
8. Corpse Bride. I haven't seen this yet—soon—but it looks amazing.
9. Alice In Wonderland. This is a vulnerable Mad-Hatter. He looks sad rather than mad. Amazingly Burton.
10. Ed Wood. Just ed odd.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Under Construction ...

Ten No-Intention-to-be-Boastful Skills I Find I May Possibly Possess.

1. An ability and positive enjoyment in finding a linking point between two disparate things. I speak here from the experience currently of writing the ol' thesis (my day in and day out endeavour). I just never thought I would get The Picture of Dorian Gray and Nip/Tuck to meet on an interesting plane, but I think I have found it. I know you would think they were quite similar from a narcissism point-of-view, but, stubborn as I am, it wasn't narcissism I wanted to look at. This skill does work other places and I am hoping it will assist my dream of becoming an OuLiPo writer.
2. An okay ability to problem solve, even if not in the most logical or common sensical way. Common sense, says someone whom psychometric tests apparently show doesn’t have any, is over-rated.
3. Bit of a jack-of-all-trades. The party involved seems to be able to try most things with a relative amount of success—the only element lacking is either passion or perseverance, or conversely, possibly there is an abundance of short-term concentration span. Don’t like just doing one thing—the grass is always greener.

Under Construction ...

Ten Nice Fluffy Happy Things to Lighten the Blog Mood Which Seems a Little Negative Lately.

1. Rabbit. Rabbit is a dog that I saw on the RSPCA Adopt-a-dog website and really loved. He is a Jack Russell kind of a guy and is sort of goofy looking. His photo says of him that someone asked him to smile and he let his teeth show in a doggy interpretation of a smile that looks, frankly, odd. I am torturing myself by looking now because it's is at least nine weeks before I can go and get a doggy. I went onto the site to show someone his gorgeous little face and he has been adopted. Now, if things were not nice, fluffy and happy before, they certainly are now. I have just gone on now again and Ralph, and the brown Lab and the funny fluffy thing are all adopted too. Nicer, Fluffier, Happier. And the eight year old dog who broke my heart because everyone wants a puppy—adopted! Nicest, Fluffiest, Happiest.
2. Woolen Underlay. It is coincidence that many of the positive things in my life at the moment are actually fluffy. My dear friend V—— very sweetly left a woolen underlay on the doorstep for me. I am usually excited to go to bed. Tonight I am more so, especially with the mercury currently at six degrees. I cannot wait to lie on that exquisite fluffiness and warmth.
3. Fluffy feedback. There is a propensity to assume fluffy feedback may mean that it is vague and not really helpful—like your teacher deliberated between telling you what she really thought or blowing you off and chose the latter. I am, however, going to believe, head in the clouds, that it is that they all love me and think I am brilliant. It doesn't matter if I am wrong because: (1) I won't know any better until I suddenly start failing everything later, like my thesis, and (2) I'll feel too happy to contemplate wrongness.
4. It’s only three odd weeks away ‘til my holiday. Holidays are the ultimate in fluffy.

Ten Mighty Achievements I Will Never Be The Youngest Person To Do.

1. Circumnavigate the globe on a solo yacht race. Jessica Watson, Sixteen.
2. Climb Mt Everest. Jordan Romero, Thirteen.
3. Go into space. Gherman Titov, Twenty-five.
4. Travel to every nation in the World. Maurizio Giuliano, Twenty-eight and three hundred and sixty-one days.
5. Be knighted. Ellen MacArthur, Twenty-four.
6. Get a PhD. Noshua Watson and Balamurali Ambati—both Seventeen.
7. Make a million dollars. Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter), Fourteen.
8. Get published. Christopher Beale, This and Last Season's Excursions, Six. Although, if autobiographies count, it may be Justin Bieber.
9. Invent something life changing. Sam Houghton, a time-saving broom, Five.
10. Blog. Gloson and Katherine Philip—both Twelve. I'm surprised there are now more twelve or lower year old bloggers. Kid's time goes slower so they could very conceivably blog more. I never have time.

Ten Possibly Life-Saving Cliches.

1. The grass is always greener—I like green grass, especially that lovely fresh first time grass that is currently growing outside the new school. It looks so soft. Novelty is essential. The post-modern life is all about boredom.
2. Full as a goog. I'm often full as a goog—with food, not alcohol. I love it as a statement. It's silly. I do think a goog isnt completely full though—but my scientist friends and family disagree. If a goog is completely full, why is there always that little indentation when you crack open a hard boiled goog. It makes me happy because even if you are as full as a goog, you have that little space left for more dessert.
3. Don't run with scissors. I think I used to use that line when I was selling insurance in the travel agent days. I would give people their form all issued and valid and say something along the lines of 'You're all protected now, but it still doesn't mean you can run with scissors.' I thought I was hilarious. Insanity works so much better in my current workplace—in fact it is expected.
4. Men: can't live with them, can't poison them by putting anti-freeze in their bucket-o'-margarita mix. Well actually you can, but you'll get caught.
5. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Love this one. Most things are, aren't they. It puts many things about life into perspective, and, make you sound like an old granny, all at the same time.
6. The bee's knees. I cannot think of a better compliment. It is rather weird. How did it ever come to be someone who is 'to die for', 'above and beyond', 'head and shoulders above the rest', 'the cat's whiskers'. I really would like to have a good close look at what a bee's knees look like. For some random and unknown reason, I always imagine them with knee pads on them.
7. He doesn't float my boat. What exactly does this mean? He doesn't have sufficient surface tension to keep my boat afloat. I like tension in a TV show, maybe it applies to real life too.
8. Oh no! Sweetness and light. It is on the random list of cliches I am using to jog my memory (cliche) about the cliches that I think are essential for living. I call my bunny bear by the similar sweet knees and light, thinking I had heard it somewhere but it was otherwise a me-ism. Turns out it is one of two thousand cliched cliches. I am not sure I want a cliche for living that I thought wasn't. I'm confused.
9. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. Pleasing any of the people any of the time is a little over-rated though—they're just so darn fininacky. But just trying to please yourself is also a problem. Accept disappointment will happen is possibly the best way to handle life.
10. It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lived before. It is hard to be open to the possibilities of the universe—maybe more so as you get older and more tainted, but this is the key to a fabulous life. I make this my life's cliche by often preaching it but not practicing it. It stays in the front of my mind regardless of my inaction.

Ten Hesitations I Have About my New Computer.

1. This Windows 7 Starter thingy (tech-term) doesn't allow me to change the wallpaper at the back of everything. I like to have my puppy watching me log off. That's a little odd. And a conspiracy because you have to pay money to upgrade to put on a wallpaper—bloody humongous corporations and their corporate greed.
2. There are no separate buttons for the touchpad so when you move the mouse over to the desired spot and click on the little rectangle on the finger thingy, the mouse leaps fourteen feet over to click on something else.
3.Which brings me to the screen. You can't actually leap fourteen feet on it. I have to go to another computer across the room to get the arrow back. The screen is meant to be small seeing as it is a handy, light and teeny-weeny netbook, but there is a lot of border that could possibly have been utilised for screen.
4. This is probably a Windows 7 thingy too: instead of the programs that are open lining up along the bottom for easy finding, they hide behind their icon and have to be searched for—which necessitates using the finger thingy, placing the arrow on the desired program, touching the rectangle, sending the arrow fourteen feet across the room and making me get up and bring it back.
5. I swear they swapped the 'Enter' and the 'Shift' keys around. I spend a lot of time waiting for things that don't happen when the shift key is pressed.
6. The green cover is so lovely and mesmerising that sometimes I just stare at it for ages and forget to do stuff. It's jewel-like. I feel like I have one of those green jewel Ford utes.
7. My email on this computer comes up with little check boxes (doesn't on my other computer which is just weird). They are fabulous because you can delete things in groups rather than one at a time, but, when you move things in groups, it turns out they just disappear into some other-world, never to be found again.
8. If you let the mouse hover for a second on any given option, it opens it. This is unless that is actually what you want it to do, in which case you need to double click it forty-eight times and you don't want me to go into that again do you—you know, the thing about the finger thingy ...
9. I pressed something, somewhere, probably actually let the mouse hover over it for a milli-second, and so now this 'Messenger' box opens every time I start the computer. I have to minimise it and then do the mouse thing to get rid of the offline option. I do that every time because I don't like it loitering, and I will never use it, ever. And I cannot find any way to make it go away. It annoys me in a large way.
10. On the desktop are a group of apple-esque icons—they even do the apple get-big thing when the mouse goes over them. But they don't seem to connect you to anything. Why are they there? Just to win a few apple-converts? I don't understand.

p.s: Don't get me wrong. I love my little computer. It's light, tiny, portable, cute as a button, nice to use and just sweet. But even Shirley Temple was sometimes annoying: 'On the goo-oo--o-d ship, Lollipop ...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ten Answers to the Odd Questions That Appear Under the Dictionary.com Banner When You Look up a Word.

* You can play Jeopardy and work out the question.
** Due to the questions seemingly never being updated, I have had to steal a couple from alternative sources.


1. Twenty days before and after the conjunction of Sirius (the Dog Star) and the Sun. In the middle ages, in the Meditteranean, this would fall in line with the hottest days of summer, and be associated with disease and discomfort.
2. A greyish yellow.
3. An inexperienced person.
4. Hypocorism.
5. Theodore Suess Geisel.
6. Where one stands.
7. A framework of sticks.
8. To grapple or struggle with or as if with the claws of hands.
9. The dot on top of the little letter 'i'.
10. Ancient clans who wanted people removed from their community (without actually murdering them) would burn down their houses.

Answer—which is actually the question, or, Question—which is actually the answer:

1. Why is the phrase 'dog days of summer' named for something in outer space?
2. What colour does the Spanish name Isabella refer to?
Irony: A friend by the same name associates words with colours. There’s a name for that. That will have to be another question.
3. What does the jay in jay-walking mean?
4. What is the technical name for what couples do when they call each other 'Sweet-knees and light; honey-bunchells and being', or, 'Mint Cream Deluxe'?
5. What is the still rather wacky, real name of Dr Suess?
6. What does the -stan at the end of Pakistan or Kyrgyzstan or any number of other -stans literally mean?
7. What is the original meaning of the word 'barbecue'?
8. Scrabble is a fun game, but what is the not-so-fun definition of 'to scrabble'? That sounds a lot more like the last game of scrabble I played.
9. Without being rude,what is the meaning of the word 'tittle'?
10. What is the origin of the phrase 'to get fired'?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ten Complaints About my Relationship With the Tax Man.

1. I don't think he really cares about me. I am just a tax file number to him.
2. It is not important to him to consider what's important to me. Shoes; the aquisition of beautiful shoes: these are not flippant matters. Other people get roads and baby-bonuses: this is just more proof that for him the only important people are road users (aka: petrol guzzling polluters who vote for him) and working families.
3. There is something about meeting up with him that always makes me late. About eleven months late at least. Maybe I just don't like him.
4. He doesn't understand me. That may be because we speak two different languages: Rational and irrational. They're still related?? Like French and Italian. I don't think he wants to understand me.
5. He only focuses on what I do and not who I am. No wonder he doesn't understand me. We are not our jobs—please tell me I am right in that. I can't be my job. I'll cry.
6. He wants to meet up every single year. I'm a busy person. I think that is a lot to ask. He doesn't give me enough space.
7. He has unrealistic expectations of what he wants from me. He wants things like group certificates (I don't know where the 'safe place' I put them is), receipts (they get systematically cleared from both my wallet and my email memory), bank interest (I don't find banks interesting) and a bit of organization. Luckily my stock broker is quite organised and so I tend to ride a little on his back. I present a beautiful folder with shares and dividends filed and alphabeticized, and in the back a handwritten piece of paper with the following: washed uniforms—dark wash/coloured wash, once a week, a dairy (crossed out) diary, $23.18 (ing), $4.36 (westpac), work said they would fax a copy of the gc on wednesday, oh, can I claim my True Crime novels (it's research into the criminal mind, in case a criminal mind calls), milk, dog food, oops wrong list.
8. Everything is 'by-the-book' with him. He's got no flexibility. How about chilling a little, man!
9. He is too involved with the State. I'm a communist. Opposites attract, I know, but then there are the three sacred cows: religion, politics and sex. I would also like to work for the Government (well, technically I do, but I am talking thought, not action, here), but I would like it to be for the 'other' Government. Like, I'd love to be a spy, but I don't want to spy for ASIO. I'd rather be in the French Foreign Legion (if it is still around) or the KGB (which apparently is). I don't know. Maybe I 'm just not a joiner.
10. He's blonde. I think I am more partial to brunettes. Maybe I could introduce him to B——. Although, there is also the fact that he is already married, with children. This was never going to work. Sorry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ten Ways I Will Cry If a Silly Volcano Spoils my European Holiday Plans by Stopping me From Getting There.

1. Tantrum style. Possibly sometime during 'the wait' at the airport; maybe in the Sugar Station shop where my flailing arms can be in the sour grape, watermelon (eeough), 'blue' (like that's a flavour?) and red (that's also a flavour) clouds if they can't get into the real ones. My tears will be rain. My cold broken heart the minus fifty degrees I should be flying through.
2. Catatonic style. Thumb sucking involved. I think I'll just sit down on the weighing machine at check in. That way the lack of movement of the luggage belt and my weight constantly showing on the scale where it should be dropping due to the hiking through the countryside that I am not doing (untangle that multi-negative) will ensure cata-stasis (the eternal continuation of a state of catonia).
3. Dramatic style. This involves a hand to the forehead for much of the time. It will also be loud so the most number of people possible can hear of my distress. There is no point being a drama queen without an audience. Possible location: mezzanine levels or overlooking balconies.
4. Boozy style. Good thing about airports (depending upon where I get stuck, and usually even then—I'm pondering Dubai in that statement) is that they'll have a bar. I can whet my whisky with tears, bore a poor barman with a red cloth, wiping down the counter, with tales of hardship and woe, and muscle fifeteen thousand other grounded passengers away from my leaning post.
5. Stubborn style. I'll refuse to move, refuse to wipe or blow my nose. I'll not take any offers of compensation. I'll stand with my arms crossed until I'm tired. Then I'll sit on my backpack with my arms crossed until I am exhausted. Then I will sleep in the middle of the airport queue, with my arms crossed until I am recovered enough to start again.
6. Staccato style. Very annoying to others as takes forever to make your pleas and missives. The annoyance factor may assist in other passengers putting you down as the person most likely to get on the plane first and out of here!
7. Clingy Style. Hanging off other people in the queue, crying and lamenting your lot in life. This mode of sadness involves getting too closely into other people’s personal space. Importantly though, this has to be all about me—in order to differentiate it from number 8.
8. The closely related Empathic style. Like clingy, empathic crying involves physical proximity and inappropriate touching. Unlike clingy, this is all about you. I understand, I am so sorry for you, I am sad to hear your story of woe and delayed travel plans.
9. Martyr style. 'No, no. You go first. This was just the biggest holiday event in my life, but it's okay. I'll wait in this airport, eating Macdonalds and Gloria Jeans coffee until it's basically time to go back to work. I'm used to disappointment. No, really, off you go.'
10. Solemnly Reflective Style. Oh, well. At least this way I don't have to feel guitly about CO2 emmisions. Or worry that I will crash on an island where weird things happen in underground bunkers. I won't have to get constipated in the bottom from bad airline food, or constipated in the nose from bad airline air. It'll be just as well. Humph!

Ten of my (Not-So) Secret Addictions.

1. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a sugar-holic.
2. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a coffee-holic.
3. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a sleep-aholic.
4. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a Wesley-aholic.
5. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a sweet-aholic. (This is sugar in a constructed form, different from number 1)
6. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am, as you all know, a list_addict.
7. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a book-aholic.
8. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a food-aholic.
9. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a shoe-aholic.
10. Hi, my name is Charlie and I am a holiday-aholic.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Under Construction ...

Ten of my Own Wildisms.

1. I can't admit to or deny the gossip about me because that will give people a reason to stop talking, and the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
2. The best secret is one that everyone knows about—secrets wither and die in isolation.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ten of my Favourite Poems and Some Lines as an Exemplar: You'll Love Them Too by the End of this List.

1. 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    And I had done a hellish thing,
    And it would work 'em woe:
    For all averred, I had killed the bird
    That made the breeze to blow.
    Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
    Had I from old and young!
    Instead of the cross, the Albatross
    About my neck was hung.
2. 'The Road not Taken' by Robert Frost.
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in the wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
3. 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' by TS Eliot.
    And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
    Smoothed by long fingers,
    Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
    Stretched on the floor, beside you and me.
    Shall I, after tea and cake and ices,
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
    But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
    Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
    I am no prophet—and here's no great matter;
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
    And in short, I was afraid.
4. 'Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night' by Dylan Thomas.
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
5. 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' by William Wordsworth.
    [about daffodils]
    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle in the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margins of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.
6. 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' by Wallace Stevens.
    I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of inflections
    Or the beauty of innuendoes,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or just after.
7. 'Lyrebirds' by Judith Wright.
    Ten years, and I have never gone.
    I'll never go.
    I'll never see the lyre birds—
    the few, the shy, the fabulous,
    the dying poets.
    No, I have never gone.
    Some things ought to be left secret, alone;
    some things—birds like walking fables—
    ought to inhabit nowhere but the reverence of the heart.
8. 'This is Just to Say' by William Carlos Williams.
    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the ice box

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold
9. 'London' by William Blake.
    I wander thro' each charter'd street,
    Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
    And mark in every face I meet,
    Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

    In every cry of every man,
    In every Infant's cry of fear,
    In every voice, in every ban,
    The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.
10. 'Song of the Open Road' by Walt Whitman.
     Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
     Healthy, free, the world before me,
     The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

     Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
     Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
     Strong and content, I travel the open road.

Under Construction ...

Ten Ridiculous Lines from Newspapers and Other News Related Media.

1. 'A Sydney man is critically ill after eating a slug as a dare, leading authorities to issue health warnings on devouring raw gastropods.' news.com.au. Okay, firstly, someone has been playing with their thesaurus—why say 'devouring' when you can say 'eating', or maybe even 'consuming' if you want to alternate your 'eat's. I seriously don't believe that this man devoured, with the passion inherent in the word, said gastropod. I may be a sesquipedalian myself and so you may think I don't have a leg to argue with here, but there is a time and a place. And that brings us to the 'gastropod' issue—why warn the general public about doing something which they will have to look up in a dictionary. And, are they saying that if it had been cooked in a nice garlic butter sauce, he wouldn't be in this predicament? Ridiculous line.

Ten Pocket Options for my Sixties Dresses.

For my floral patterned dress:

1. Gathered, oversized pockets. With a flat top so things don't jump out. Double stitched trim on the flat top. This is hard to do textually—imagine a drawstring bag but with a structured top. I like the idea of them but am concerned I will look like I have an arse of both sides of my body.
2. Internal pockets on the side seams. Easy to do and they don't create the pattern clash that any surface pocket is going to create, but they have the floppy-factor and that is probably enough to make them no-go. I dislike that they wander around inside your clothing of their own volition.
3. Straight slit pocket with a facing. Internal but in the body of the dress; vertical. Easier to find than the ones on the side as they are in the place you expect pockets to be. Sides always seem to gravitate towards backs. There is still the internal movement issue here.
4. Central pouch—like on an apron. Easy to do, no fiddly bits. Easy to find. Definite possibilities of pattern clashes unless you have lots of spare fabric and an exacting eye—I believe I could get close to close. They may not hold a lot but I do like this idea most of all.
5. Large flower appliqué with an open top. This is meta-pocketing. Or is it meta-patterning. Fiddly option.

For my B&W spotted dress:

6. A ric-rac cross down the centre of the dress with the horizontal at pocket level. The actual pockets are then sewn into the seam of the ric-rac on the horizontal. It's visually 60's which I like, but there is something about ric-rac that makes me think of clothing I was forced to wear as a child.
7. Circle appliqués with a semi-circle cut out for your hands to get into. Meta-circling. I like.
8. Exact square, placed on a diamond angle. This makes a play on the spottiness of the dress which is already like one of those optical illusions. When you shake it the dots dance. I have no idea what it will do to people's vision as I walk towards them in the bright sunshine. I hope everyone has sunnies on.
9. This will take some explaining: centre seam; from the seam attach two triangular pouches. They will have a fold in the middle that can be secured with a button. A wordy mess but they look nice visually.
10. Pouch bag, attached to side seam by a ribbon. This pocket swings free. And needs constant reminders to not overload. It will catch on everything and get in the way. but it has my preferred level of quirk.

P.S: Ran out of time and went to Europe sans-pockets. It would have been better to make pockets than to think about what pockets to make. Maybe.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Under Construction ...

Ten Dandyish Outfits of Oscar Wilde.

*Courtesy of Richard Ellmann's Biography of the same.

1. His school uniform consisted of scarlet and lilac shirts.
2. At Trinity he liked to wear tweeds of huge checks with bird's-eye blue ties, high collars and roll-brimmed hats sitting, cocked, on one ear. I am always admiring of someone who pulls off the right combinato of brown and blue. When you get it right it a magnificent thing—like the right yellow and grey. Believe me, I used to be a colour consultant.
3. To a party he once wore a tailcoat that was shaped and styled to look like a cello. I reckon that would make your bottom look large. It's not a piece I'll be emulating soon.

Under Construction ...

Ten Things That are Just Wrong.

*Disclaimer: Any thing in this list that is considered 'just wrong' is, for the most part, subjective and open to disagreement. Other things I would hope humanity agrees with me bout and already holds the same or similar opinion.

1. Child models. I realise that Target needs little'ns to show the world what to buy, but sexualised, adultised child modelling is 'just wrong'. And if you tell me 'it's what the child wants' don't be surprised if I tell you I think that is 'just wrong'.
2. Hello Kitty vibrators. Disney doesn't use its own name when it makes porn; Hello Kitty, maybe you need to take a leaf. Now don't get me wrong, it is not the equipment I have an issue with: its only that I find the packaging 'just wrong'.
3. Irregular Choice selling cigarette paraphernalia to impressionable young females. They denied it was smoking. ‘You can light things like candles with a lighter’, they said. And plant a cactus in an ashtray I assume. They have moved them off the main page now. Good. Do they not know that the largest growing group of smokers is young females—coincidently the largest growing group of Irregular Choice consumers.
4. Anne Geddes Photos. Do those babies actually want to be wrapped up in lettuce leaves and agapanthuses, or sleeping on someone's bassett hound? There is something creepy about uterine metaphors and all those crinkly baby bits. Apologies to mothers who find this all as cute as cute can be, but, ah, I just find it weird, and wrong.
5. Liz Hurley even being in the same room as Warney. No, it cannot be true!! And then, to make it worse, read the disparity of intellects evidenced by their tweet correspondence. It’s embarrassing. Thank goodness that didn’t last very long.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ten Fabulous TV, Film or Literature Mo/ums.

* Happy Mother’s Day. These mothers are iconic but not necessarily loving in the traditional sense. It is weird, when you start to look at this, how many, shall we say, ‘disturbed’ or ‘disturbing’ mothers there are in the arts. There is a thesis in that—there is probably already one, or a million, done. To my own Mother—this is not a comparison, just a curiosity. You are possibly too lovely, I am sorry to say, to make it into any of these mediums.

1. Mommy Dearest. Fabulous only for her exaggerated campness and the crazy wire hanger scene—the underlying sadness of this mother is not so great. You have to have one bad mommy in the mommy catergory though, and Joan Crawford certainly fits that.
2. Glenn Close in The World According to Garp. Her heart was in the right place, maybe. But she was definitely odd. An oddness that you couldn’t help loving.
3. The mothers on Arrested Development. Three to choose from, all as insane as each other. If these are our mothers it is no surprise we are living in a mad, mad world.
4. Mrs Weasley; Harry Potter (for any of you who may not know—where have you been?). This is one of the only traditionally good mothers I can think of that doesn’t just blend into the background of a novel, show or film. Mothers of the world, please remember that there is no news in good news—if we aren’t hearing about you, it’s a good thing. That said, I do believe every mother should have a clock that shows if their family members are in ‘Mortal Danger’.
5. The mother in Psycho. Okay, this is clutching at straws. In a way she was a very loved mother though, wasn’t she? He wanted to keep her forever.
6. Marge, The Simpsons. A seemingly tranquil bay in an ocean of dysfunction. Here is another ‘normal’ mother. Except when she’s not.
7. Molly Bloom, Ulysses. You have to love a mother who stays in bed all day long. It’s an archetype of mother. Throw in a bit of gin and you multiply the numbers exponentially.
8. The mother of Christian's African American child in Series One of Nip/Tuck. She is so fabulously crass, foul mouthed and wise all mixed up in one.
9. A little step into the animal world if I could. 'Good' animal mummie: an oyster has a hundred million children in her lifetime (that's good, equaling prolific). 'Bad' animal mummie: giraffes give birth standing up, so a baby giraffe's first worldly experience is a six foot drop to the earth (that's bad, equaling a tad careless).
10. Mrs Flax, Mermaids. She's Cher, she's wacky, and she has great clothes and a funny personality. She's the kind of mother I would want to be if I wanted to be a mother.

Ten Things I Need to Purchase for my Holidays.

*Aka: Another Shopping List.

1. Netbook and a bag for it. I have now purchased (today, eek) the netbook—a Dell Mini 10v. The biggest dilemma was the colour. I thought I had decided on cherry red, but when I saw the jade green option as I was ordering, my resolve was put into question. I decided to text V—— for his opinion; then I spun the mexican bean game top (with its equal number of sides of red and green writing, it is, I have decided today a perfect way to decide between 'go' and 'woah', or between cherry red and jade green) and got green, yay, the best of three red, mmm, then best of six red, mmm, don't think I want red after all; then I googled 'cherry red or jade green' and got a blog where a man had exactly the same problem and chose green because his wife said it was good for his eyes. V—— texted back with red and, poor thing, got a 'but don't you think green would be nice' text back. So the green one is ordered. Now I will just have to decide on a bag. I think I like the ones they have at Borders, made out of wetsuits. They are quite funky and not terribly bulky.
2. Bike shorts. Plain, simple, un-nappy-ed bike shorts that you see all the time until you actually need to buy some and then no-one stocks them. This seems a common experience amongst shoppers and supports a theory that the world doesn't actually exist. How can everyone be looking for something that isn't, all of a sudden, available, and there still be things in shops? Unless everyone is looking for the same thing, which seems unlikely. Everything is obviously just a figure of my imagination. But why then is my imagination sabataging my need for a pair of bike shorts—isn't it MY imagination. Who's controlling this thing?
3. Roll mat. I am in love with my new roll mat. It's like a big feather bed, only it's not. But compared to the piece of cardboard I had before it is divine—soft, airy and warm.
4. Olay cream. It moisturises and protects from the insipid (not really) rays of the British sun. I keep lying. But it is a little bit true, the British sun is a different, less painful sun. This is a lie that gives you cancer I know.
5. Advil. I love advil. It's red(ish) and it makes bad things go away.
6. New Undies. (No, you do not need new undies. Every single thing that happens is not an excuse to get new undies.)
7. Walking Shoes. As opposed to walking boots. I fancy getting some of the Keens we looked at on the day of the Melbourne Romp. It was like a day couldn’t be complete for women without a shopping bit at the end. The Keens are ugly but they look quite comfy and would serve as hiking shoes if I am feeling footloose.
8. Large Silk scarf. Idea abandoned for this when I realised that in this country a large silk scarf is one of three things: hard to get; expensive; and; very tacky colour wise. I wish I hadn’t lost my lovely sarong. It was the perfect scarf/towel/cover-up. This was an idea to replace it. it can’t be replaced.
9. Teeny-weeny shampoo and conditioner. For my teeny-weeny hair. No need for quantity here. Not enough hair, not enough days when I wash it, and even teeny-weenier bottles of shampoo and conditioner in most B&Bs.
10. Sequins. There will be one sequin for every kilometre on my spotty dress. The further I go the shinier I’ll get.

Ten Recipes I Made up Containing at Least Three Ingredients in the Secret Box This Week on MasterChef—Chocolate, Lavender, Cabbage, Fennel, Pinot Noir, Raspberries, Bacon and a Duck.

1. Cabbage (butter sauteed with chives) and duck mini terrines (fingerfood size) with two dipping sauces: a chocolate mole and a lavender infused yoghurt in a lavender infused olive oil.
2. Duck sandwich on pounded and toasted bread, layered with baked eggplant and fennel and a spicy raspberry jelly and served with a coleslaw salad.
3. Chocolate mousse balls with raspberry and pinot sorbet balls and a lavender syrup.
4. Bacon, fennel and cabbage soup with crusty herb bread.
5. Sweet, cold pinot and raspberry soup with a lavender cream swirl and crisp biscotti.
6. Pinot ice cream with chocolate dipped raspberries.
7. Crispy bacon and duck skin strips with chilli, raspberry and coriander salsa (with very finely cut shallots).
8. Duck liver pate with crispy fried bacon, cabbage, potato and carrot French fries.
9. Slow roasted pinot coated duck with cabbage and fennel bubble-and-squeak.
10. Pizza with duck, bacon, raspberry, feta and endive.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ten Ways to Swing.

1. A swing shift. (Done)
2. A swing at the playground. (Done)
3. From Libs to Labor, from Labor to the Greens, from the Greens to the Australian Sex Party. (Can’t recall where in the swing I am here)
4. A tyre swing over a river. (Maybe)
5. A key party. (Undone)
6. A mood swing. (Guilty!)
7. In a jazz club. (Undone—why, I shouldn’t be saying no here)
8. On a gate. (Done)
9. From branch to branch like a monkey or Tarzan. (Undone—don’t have the upper arm strength)
10. On a trapeze, or a high ropes course. (Done)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ten Results from a Google Search of 'Twenty Eight Francs'.

* I don't know. It was just something that popped into my head. I started with yen, but liked the results francs brought better. Pesos all came back to Mexican politics, which is all well and good, but I was after variety. Marks brought up people named Mark and that was too far from the mark. I am sticking with francs—I don't believe any Franks will come up, but you never know.

1. A Wikipedia article about the movie 28 Weeks Later, a sci-fi, horror, post-apocalyptical movie about a virus that infects Britain and what happens twenty-eight weeks later. Britain is close to France, the protaganist's children were in Spain during the infection and Spain is close to France, but I don't see where the francs come into it.
2. A Wikipedia article on the 1927-28 Waratah's (the rugby team from New South Wales) tour of the British Isles, France and Canada. Easy, they would have spent some francs when they were in France.
3. A document about the 303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 129 whose mission was to bomb the Chartre Airdrome on March 27th, 1944. There were twenty eight planes. Perhaps they carried francs in case they fell or were captured. It does have some nifty maps, and some flying configurations. And then you remember that it was real and people came back deceased, and then its not so amusing.
4. The Internet Movie Database's synopsis of the sci-fi, horror, post-apocalyptic movie 28 Days Later. Oddly this is a virus that infects Britain. It is called the 'rage' virus which is weird because that is the name of the virus in the movie 28 Weeks Later. But this must be a stronger strain because the protaganist in this movie wakes up after sleeping for 28 days (wish I could) to find no-one. Of course, though, there are zombies to fight and non-zombies to find. Who says there are only ten plots?
5.Day twenty-eight of a blog entitled 'Our Summer in France'. The blogites are travelling from Paris to Dijon on this day. There are adventures and mis-adventures and poops. They would have spent francs to buy their morning raisin swirly things.
6. A SciVerse Science Direct Database journal on the 'Determination of twenty eight biogenic amines and amino acids during wine aging by micellar electrokinetic chromatography and laser-induced fluorescence detection'. I would have read it, I would! But, you know, I had some socks to fold, and I was writing a thesis, and Lollipop made some nice smells. The abstract mentioned French wine—the link. And they seemed know what they were talking about as they were describing how all the grapes were grown in the same 'wine yard'.
7. A Google Books link to Honor de Balzac's Lost Illusions, which has the following quote on page 391: Suppose that in a large banking-house a bill for a thousand francs is daily protested on an average, then the banker recieves twenty-eight francs a day by the grace of God and the constitution of the banking system, that all powerful invention due to the Jewish intellect of the Middle Ages, which after six centuries still controls monarchs and peoples. (My Italics)
8. A News article on France 24 about an April 6 bombing in Baghdad that killed twenty-eight people and injured seventy-five more.
9. Scutigera coleoptrata, aka The House Centipede, aka The Twenty Eight Legger. They are quite funky legs, the sort of fluffy type rather than the more solid, straight-up-and-down type. It actually looks a bit like the one that stung me in Queensland. I can''t quite see if twenty-eight is exactly how many legs it does have. It seems like an odd number to choose though doesn't it, wouldn't God just round up? I am hard put to see the French connection, but there are a lot of links on this page, an excessive number in fact—maybe one is for a lovely garlic soaked centipede recipe?
10. A promotion from Alis—highway construction company responsible for the A28 from Rouen to Alencon. They set up a couple of 'Take a Break' spots for motorists during the holidays this year where instead of a cup of Tetley with one of those teeth-curling wooden stirrers, you could get a shoulder massage. I am not sure if that would actually wake me up—I'd have to have a nap afterwards, hopefully not while I was driving. I have just read the full article one click later: they also had bouncy castles, magic shows, giant toboggans, a ball pool and giant wooden games. Man, that sounds like one ace highway!

Ten Ways an Unprepared Adult can Try to Entertain and Unhappy Child.

1. Play ‘Where’s Mummy?’ Limited duration to this game and it starts to backfire when there is no answer to the question.
2. ‘How to open a backagon’ (I don’t know how to spell that and what it is—a ball that becomes a thing if it touches metal. But obviously just the ‘right type of metal’).
3. ‘Where’s B——?’ And other peeping games. Much more successful as able to locate the subject in the game.
4. ‘Crawly Fingers’. Aka ‘Tickles’.
5. Championship Standard Imaginary Chess.
6. ‘Blankey Superman’.
7. ‘Cat’s Cradle’. With the loose threads from blankey.
8. ‘Why are they here?’ Like the chess, this seems a one sided game when played with a two year old.
9. ‘Quieteys’. Who can sit still and say nothing the longest. That is, unfortunately, not a game that lasts long.
10. ‘Traces’. Tracing the patterns on the surgery window.

Ten Things that Could be Waiting for me at the Post Office.

1. First Aid certificate from St. John.
2. My new Dell netbook.
3. My new Cathy Reichs novel.
4. My new Paul Robinson novel.
5. My Bachelor degree. (This is what was there—damn, I wanted it to be #7).
6. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s What is Philosophy?
7. A complementary pair of Irregular Choice shoes to ensure my continued patronage after my understandable disappointment over their selling smoking paraphernalia.
8. A box of books from Amazon.com.
9. Registered mail to advise me that I have been upgraded to Business class on my flight to London.
10. Missing parcel of maps from last year that I didn’t even realise was missing.

Ten Crimes Which a Person Who Might Have Been Met Unfortuitously on the Road May Arguably Be Liable to Answer Charges For.

* Any resemblence to person, real or imagined, in this blog is purely coincidental. This is fiction.

1. Reckless driving.
2. DIU (of narcotics).
3. Running a red light (if we hadn’t have been in the way).
4. Driving an unregistered vehicle.
5. Driving a vehicle with false plates.
6. Driving uninsured.
7. Wearing three-quarter pants with socks.
8. Inconveniencing V—— and making him run around like crazy trying to get the vehicle fixed.
9. Ignoring police instructions to leave the vehicle at the scene of the accident.
10. Domestic with his girlfriend—which is why he was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.

Under Construction ...

Ten Films I think I Could Have Written Better.

1. Zac and Miri Make a Porno. The premise was good; there was some good humour, a few good sight gags. I would have built the tension between them more. I did like how he was not a classic beauty, shall we say. But the dénouement was just too quick and predictable—it could be really good (if I wrote it).
2. Paranormal Activity. It was, all in all, quite scary, but I think the editing maybe could have been tighter. Being the expert that I am, of course, this is a more than valid observation.
3. Legion—although, if you look at it from the point of view of trying to achieve everything they seemed to be wanting to achieve (a biblical blockbuster where God becomes disillusioned and needs to be brought back to his love of humanity by the Archangel Michael; a shoot-‘em-up action movie; and; a way to set up for Legion II), it may be harder to re-write than I thought. Personally, keep it simple(r) would be my approach. 4. Now You See Me. This had so much potential but it was missing some vital motivations, some essential backgrounds, some satisfying resolutions and some powerful female roles. This has the potential to be amazing in the right hands. Are those mine?