Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Category: Friday on my mind

Psst, here I am, hiding down the back of the couch…

Yeah, I know. Been a while. I think the last post I made was toward the end of June. I was all set to write a nothing much post about nothing much, and WordPress was misbehaving so I didn’t end up writing anything. It’s been a little chaotic in the McGee household, what with one thing and another, and I’ve been a tiny bit busy doing write-y things at work as well. However, I have managed to squeeze in a bit of reading. Quite a bit of reading as a matter of fact. It was helped by spending a ridiculous amount of time on public transport for a week while I did some training in Big Smokey (two trains and a bus to get there, a tram and two trains to get home. Nice. One train got delayed for an hour – which made the hour I’d allowed to get from point B to point C slightly more necessary than I expected. I do NOT feel the love for the Myki either. Whole other story that, though. But it was 13 hours all up on the train)

Anyway, on to the books… in no particular order, I have read…

  1. The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith
  2. Brimstone – Preston and Child
  3. Skin Game – Jim Butcher
  4. Lexicon – Max Barry

Also in no particular order, one was bloody brilliant, one was quite good, one was what I expected and the other was a complete disappointment. But I think I’ll do  a separate post for each because well, I don’t know why really. Partly because I was going to write a bit of a six month, new financial year how’s ma resolutions going, hey, so I might do that and do the books over the next couple of days.

Right, here we go.

Resolution #1 – keeping my feral leftie mouth shut whilst still leaving my feral leftie heart beating rather messily on my sleeve …

So far, so good. Not killed anyone, made my viewpoint clear with facts rather than rhetoric. Been screamingly angry at the way the current gubbermints think it’s appropriate to treat unemployed people purely because the people in the IPA and the people who watch A Current Affair think everyone who is unemployed is a bludger and rorting the system, so should thusly be treated as such. Or die. Preferably the latter. As should old people and sick people and children. But hey, theywill cease to be a problem when the climate implodes.

Resolution #2 – Writing writing writing.

I’ve been doing that. I’ve even been doing a bit of actual writing but nowt for public consumptions. And reading. They go together.

Resolution #3 – working smarter at work and at home

Well, look over there, nice shiny tractor coming your way. I have been Busy. I don’t know if working smarter is right, but busy, meeting most of my deadlines, not only found my assertiveness pants but put them on and USED them. Home front has been a bit choppy, so to speak – but nothing’s been disconnected and we haven’t starved. So yeah… ok.

Resolution #4 – learning to say ‘no’

Actually, I did do that. In spades. Without raising my voice, while making people take me very seriously at the same time. And I am preparing to do it again, without fear or favour!

Resolution #5 – Reading

Yep. Doing that. About 22 books so far. I’m not going to make 50, but I am pretty pleased with my efforts. This brings me to another mini-rant about the gubbermints. Piracy is a bit of a thingy in Australia. We’re willing to pay a reasonable price for media we want to watch/read/use. We are not generally prepared to put up with being screwed over by Uncle Rupert and forced to pay through the nose for the privilege of watching stuff *after* everyone else has. So, the gubbermints cure for the pirates is to make the ISPs punish people who download movies and stream tv shows. Yay. Now, I’m not one to stream shows or download movies. I can wait. I don’t steal music either.

Books, however…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still hand over cold hard cash for books from time to time. BUT if I buy a paper book, once I’ve read it, it’s mine to do with what I will. I can pass it on to someone else, I can make paper planes from its pages, I can use it to prop a wobbly table leg. When I buy an electric book – it’s not that much cheaper than a real one, I can’t give it to someone else to read without doing complicated things to it, and all I can do with it is leave it to clutter up my hard drive. That’s not fair. So I um borrow books from strangers, then loan them on. Piratically. And with a reasonably clear conscience.

Resolution #6 – exercise

Totally winning at that one. Just ask the Hound! I’ve missed less than a week since the beginning of December when I started walking. Although I’ve added having to catch a train at sparrow fart to my list of reasonable excuses (along with torrential rain, thunder and lightening, and hangovers.) From the week after next, and hopefully next week, I am going to be getting myself to work under my own steam – walking until it gets a bit lighter of an evening, then cycling (assuming of course I can get the tail light to stay on my bike). That will mean I will be covering around 8km a day which is really rather good.

So, on the whole, I think I am going ok with the resolution business. Nothing like making achievable plans, hey.

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Special Topics in Procrastination.

Well, I’m not technically procrastinating at the moment. I’m waiting patiently for a phone call, then I am going home. But because I don’t want to actually start anything new that I can’t walk off on unfinished, here I am.

Now, I’ve just realised I haven’t posted about what I’ve been reading since the end of January – suffice to say I actually *have* been reading, but I’ve also been demolishing and rebuilding and packing and unpacking the most hideous kitchen in the world and discovering that if one packs two rooms into one room utilising the OMFG I just need to get all the things out of here and where can I just shove this thing, one also discovers that it takes one a bloody long time to find anything and put things back where they belong. Also, one also discovers that while one has the same real estate on paper as one had previously, but it’s arranged in a slightly different fashion – one has to reassess one’s love for amazing Italian ceramic platters and serving bowls (and discover that the local op shop ladies actually share your love of said amazing Italian ceramics and I’m 99.98% certain that both platter and bowls didn’t make it onto the shelf!)

I did in fact finish Special Topics in Calamity Physics. And it was pretty good in the end.

I discovered this book through a blog called Raging Biblioholism, which is pretty good. The author of the blog reads a LOT, and I have to say I enjoy his taste, and he’s lead me onto a lot of stuff I wouldn’t normally pick up. (Keep up the good works!) But back to Special Topics – The first half was a bit of a trudge – well written and interesting enough to keep going, but a bit of a trudge all the same. Then all of a sudden, things started to happen and the story turned into the crime story it promised to be from the start, it lost its resembleance to A Secret History and whipped along at a cracking pace. There were bits where I’d worked out what was going on, but it was more of an “ah ha! I knew it!” rather than “I told you that would happen – bo-ring” and as long as I reminded myself that the book was a) written from the perspective of a teenaged girl (haven’t met anyone more self-obsessed and angsty than an average teenage girl) and b) written by a Young Person whenever it got a little bit O. Rly? (which it did from time to time), that was ok. The story improved when Blue broke away in search of the answers to her questions (some of which she found – can’t go much further because. Spoilers, sweetie.)

The ending was daft, but the endings of crime stories often are. This also wasn’t a traditional crime story, in that there was a murder followed by the protagonist working out who it was wot dunnit and PC Plodd making sure that thems wot dunnit got their comeuppance. It was about a suicide (this is made clear in the first couple of pages, so no spoilers there) and the why and the what was involved, as well as the interactions (or otherwise) between a father and his daughter when both parties are completely self-obsessed and contained in their own little worlds. In the end, I definitely enjoyed it and I’ve recommended it to a couple of other people whom I know don’t mind a slow start to their books. I sort of knew what to expect re the pretentiousness of the main character – however, she’s a teenage girl. I used to be one a long time ago, and recently rediscovered my journals from when I was 16 through 18. Teenaged girls *are* pretentious. They probably always have been and possibly always will be pretentious little gits.

This is  relatively short and sweet (actually, I thought of other things to say after the aforementioned phone call, so I’ve banged on more than I thought!), but hey, also read another book which needs to have its own post due to me attempting to use this medium to track how much I’ve read this year. It appears the grand total is umm four books. And 2/3 of book five. In three months. At this rate, I will barely manage twenty books… This time last year, I’d headed off on an internet-free road trip. Before we left, I made myself a reading list of ten books to read over the almost three weeks we were away. Because we were driving for 5-6 hours a day, then stopping for the rest of the evening and I wasn’t being side tracked by the interwebs and playing endless games of Candy Crush, I had a lot more time for reading. I didn’t actually read all of the ten books I set for myself – I did read eight of them though, and another one that wasn’t on the list, and half of another one again.

It was a pretty good feeling when I got back that I’d managed to read that much; and I think having that solid period of reading, I didn’t fall into the trap of playing stupid games on the interwebs and going to bed ridiculously late instead of going to bed at a civilised time and reading (I also vaguely recall lolling about on the couch and reading over winter as well). When I consider how much time I waste on crap like bloody Candy Crush and all the other sagas, when I could be enjoying a bloody good book – I think I need to give myself a jolly good talking to! Sir Reg is working this weekend, and Chaos and Mayhem have been muttering about going to their mate’s place… I think it’s time for a personal challenge this weekend.

1. Finish the book I am reading

2. Blog about The Shining Girls and #3 of the Codex Alera

3. Download some more stuff onto the e-reader

4. Start Allegiant so that I’ve finished it before Chaos gets through the first two books in the series. This is an actual book rather than an e-book, because I prefer Chaos to get his thrills reading paper! Time enough for electronica when he’s older.

So that’s it from me. Hopefully I will manage the above list. Phone call is complete, and now I have to go home to dinner.

 

 

First world problems… (are still sodding problems, so shuddup)

Today was one of those days. A conga line of minor irritations that, individually, would amount to no more than a mild eye roll and/or a shrug of the shoulders. However, in a seemingly endless line of one teensy little thing after another, today amounted to a slithering slimy pile annoyance.

Must have been the wind.

A misplaced dry-cleaner, who, once located, managed to misplace dry-cleaning. Well, a third of it, but still. Irritating.

Late breakfast of coffee that was not only luke warm, but under caffeinated, coupled with yesterday’s bun. Disappointing.

An important document left on the printer, three floors away from a meeting. Annoying.

Cancelled another meeting (which wasn’t too bad in and of itself) but had to reschedule. Rescheduling took the combined efforts of four people, and the best part of an hour. Frustrating.

An express lunch that took more than an hour to arrive. Vexing.

A letter that had to go in the mail today missed the post by less than the amount of time it takes for the post office staff to walk back to the counter from locking the front door. Maddening.

A forgotten errand, a missed deadline, chaos and mayhem at home (both literally and artistically speaking)… no chocolate in the cupboard. The list just goes on and on. Trivial irritations, every single one.

It’s Friday. A new morning dawns in a ridiculously short period of time, and it cannot possibly be as irritating and tediously frustrating as today.