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Well, that was odd. I've just had the Protester Ringleader in my office again, to make the course drop we discussed a few weeks back. It was a weirdly cordial interchange, where he apologised for disrupting my lecture and assured me it was just politics, nothing personal. And that he does not in any way endorse the bus-burning and throwing-things-at-Vice-Chancellors activities of the 2016 protesters, and doesn't agree with the violence, and won't resort to it himself. And was strangely accepting of my argument that, well, I didn't know that when he was threatening my students with a fire extinguisher, did I, and yes, he understands why contextually that would be problematical and result in tension and migraines on my part.

We even laughed about it, and agreed that fuck Jacob Zuma anyway, it's all his fault. And had a fairly open and respectful discussion on Ringleader's actual grievances, which are apparently about his reading of the enforcement of faculty rules (in this case, DP for a particular course) as being unfair to poor/black students. And we agreed to disagree on the rules interpretation issue, because from where I sit we do our damndest to enforce rules even-handedly, even if it doesn't feel like it to him.

Weirdly cordial. And my neck is all in knots and I can feel the headache building, and I'm shaking very slightly. This campus is inducing PTSD.

On the upside, Jo (ty) has finally succeeded in ejecting her overdue offspring, who is a beautiful girl-child rejoicing in the name of Theodora. Huzzah for additions to the small thundering herds in my immediate social vicinity, at least in the abstract. I love the name. It's always been one of my favourites, it's both unusual and strangely dignified. Mad congrats to all three.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
I am up unseasonably early as my sister and niece are arriving back from the UK at an unseasonal hour and I have undertaken to collect them from the airport. I confidently predict that the driving experience will give me flashbacks to playing Fallout, i.e. apocalyptic wastelands devoid of people. A tinsel tumbleweed may roll by occasionally. I shall thoroughly enjoy it.

I had Christmas Eve dinner with jo&stv last night, which entailed savage Polish barszcz (for which I have an unnatural fondness) in its natural habitat, i.e. filled with mushroom dumplings. Later there were pierogi, controversially with added pancetta (Polish Christmas is traditionally vegetarian). It was, needless to say, excellent, and also excellently subversive. Other than that we eschewed all trappings of actual Christmasness, which was curiously freeing. Today I have brunch with my sister and niece, and then trundle on home to play more Fallout while they recover from an intercontinental plane flight (they've just spent 10 days in the UK with my mother). This strikes me as an excellent Christmas plan, mostly because of its singular lack of a lot of actual Christmas. I may roast a chicken later, in a meditative sort of fashion, and watch Return of the Jedi or something.

By way of further creative deconstruction of Christmas tropes, have the Nutcracker performed by hip hop dancers. This made me absurdly happy.

merry seasonal wossnames of your preferred depth and flavour to all!


Saturday, 12 December 2015 09:13 am
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
I am incautiously excited for the new Star Wars movies, and open to having my heart, once more, broken if it comes to that, which it very well might given JJ. (Current favourite anecdote: John Boyega being hailed by Samuel L. Jackson at a party, with the salutation "Hey, black Jedi! you my SON!")

I also very much enjoyed having Tracy visit a few weekends back, so that her daughters might variously (a) peruse my graphic novel collection (eldest; made off with Captain America, I'll get her into Digger too, see if I don't) and (b) noodle around on my piano (youngest: is starting lessons soon, accepted guidance on practising scales). It made me realise that I miss playing my piano, and should get back into it.

By way of synthesising paragraphs (1) and (2) above, I love this very, very much.

I shall allow it to sustain me through today, which, while being a Saturday, is also a four-hour review meeting of all the students who've been academically excluded by these exams. It does good and useful work, and is uniformly depressing.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
I love my cat, really I do. Hobbit is a feline of character and authority, as well as being ridiculously fluffy and frequently cute. It's sometimes difficult to remember this, though, when dealing with his post-removals state of miff, because he's completely hideous to live with. He has every reason to be insecure and angsty given the sudden, unsolicited and radical reshaping of his environment, but that's not my first response when I fall over him for the umpteenth time because he's no more than six inches from my ankles at any given moment, being needy and insecure.

Or, as this morning, when I'm bumbling through the day in a somnambulistic daze because he spent the night trying, at intervals, to dig through the curtain next to my bed in a futile attempt to get at the window, which was closed, anyway. He's a very loud cat. And a heavy one. When he jumps onto the bed, the resulting small mattress-quake infallibly wakes me up. Then he walks heavily over my recumbent form to get to the window, scrabbles ineffectually at it for a few minutes, walks heavily back over me and either jumps to the floor with a dull thud, or curls up in the corner of my bed and washes himself. Loudly. Just as I'm drifting off to sleep, he leaps to the floor with a dull thud, and then spends the next 20 minutes wandering around the house, mewing piteously. And loudly.

If I cave at 2.30 am and in desperation shut him out of the bedroom, he mews loudly and repeatedly throws himself bodily against the door like a small, furry battering ram until I cave again and let him in. At which point he repeats the cycle above. He must have woken me up five or six times last night, mostly out of a fitful doze because I'm really bad at getting properly back to sleep once awoken. I'm a zombie today, and am finding it difficult to focus on the fact that I love my kitty, really, because of the traditional red haze of undead homicidal mania. I hope he settles down soon. My mental health is suffering.

Despite this I had a lovely weekend, including random takeout and Girly Evening with Claire and Lara on Saturday, and a blissful Sunday morning empty-cinema viewing of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is a damned good film of which more anon. I also have to report that my niece's dance performance, one of those giant ones at the Opera House with umpteen dance schools participating, was surprisingly enjoyable. She makes a cute Dalmatian puppy, in a pile of similar 8-year-olds being pursued around the stage by Cruella de Vil. Also, while I am still unable to overcome my ingrowing dislike of the stilted, artificial codes of classical ballet, I enjoyed the hell out of the tap, modern, Celtic and, oddly, hip-hop numbers. I blame Stv for the hip-hop, he's the one who insists on showing me Step Up movies. But I realise that I'm also all about actual synchronised movement in dance - my favourite tradition is still ballroom, in the Fred Astaire sense rather than the modern reality show one. I like it when there's lots of mirrored, mutual movement rather than static poses. Hip-hop definitely counts, and its energy is infectious.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
This picture came over my Tumblr feed today, and is making me subtly happy. The artist is Brenoch Adams, whose site repays a browse, lots of lovely and slightly quirky sf and computer game concept art. I love that the tall, gangling, slightly threatening robot in this portrait is so utterly subordinated to the little black girl. And I love that she's black, with the kicky hair-style: not your usual sf stereotype at all. Mostly, though, I love her expression of slightly feral glee. That girl and her robot are going to take over the world. Watch out, world.

Brenoch Adams: Robo Guard

In the spirit of the power of small girls, have a piece of fanfic which crosses Roald Dahl's Matilda with Tony Stark. No, really. From the reliably readable copperbadge, and with extra X-men diss at no extra charge.
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
My niece is seven years old. I am sickened and reeling to hear about the elementary school massacre, and I can't even imagine what parents of children must be feeling, let alone the particular parents of those particular kids. I am also moved to admiration of the Harper's Weekly Review response, which is to start their monthly summary paragraph with "At an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a man carrying three semiautomatic guns fatally shot six women and 20 first-graders" and, after a round-up of recent American shooting incidents and the pro-gun lobby response, to close it with "At an elementary school in Chengping, China, a man carrying a knife wounded one adult and 22 children, killing none." We will always have lunatics among us, but the time for American gun control reform was a decade of massacres ago.

The apparent plan of the Wesboro Baptist Church to picket a post-shooting vigil, on the grounds that the deaths were God's punishment for tolerating gays, would sicken me more except that I think that they've badly underestimated the American and global response to violence against children - or, at least, to violence against the kind of privileged upper-middle-class American children whose characteristic insulation against the hells routinely suffered by Third World kids throws the incident into horrible relief. If anything could close down that passel of insensitive, opportunistic bigots, that particular righteous backlash might.

I have wols and fanfic and more cheerful things about which to babble, but they seem a bit out of place so I'll hold them over.
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Mental Floss has just given me the word I always knew I needed. "Petrichor: The clean, pleasant smell that accompanies rain falling on dry ground. It’s from the Greek petra (stone) and ichor (the blood of Greek gods and goddesses). The term was coined by two Australian researchers in 1964."

Hooray for Australian researchers. That rain smell is one I associate strongly with highveld thunderstorms and the start of the rains - it's particularly vivid when it's the first rain after the arid heat of the dry season. But even Cape Town rains manage to recreate it, especially at the moment with the alternation of hot and rainy. It's a sharp, keen, vivid, slightly wild smell, rife with generative promise, and I love the way those Australian researchers have constructed the word - petrichor is perfectly believable as the residue of a slightly otherworldly power. Like most instances of precipitation, it makes me very happy.

(And, yes, I'm quoting Toto lyrics. I like that song. So sue me.)

For some reason this year's Christmas seasonal stuff hasn't annoyed me as much as it usually does. It all seems a bit subdued: the city isn't packed with tourists to any unacceptable extent, the shop displays are not generally as in-your-face as usual, and my homicidal mutterings about the inappropriateness of jolly snow-encrusted Santas in African summer are more than somewhat below par. It might be that I'm still too tired to work up a good head of irritation steam, or that I'm working later than usual into the month and am tucked away neatly in an ivory tower away from the shopping frenzy. It's also helping that my sister and I have a no-presents-except-for-the-niece pact this year1, and I am spared the usual harrowings of present-acquisition. This is a surprising sense of release, and caused me to reflexively go off and donate madly to charity instead (Wikipedia, and St. Luke's Hospice - the former because its citation-needed refrain is wildly useful in explaining plagiarism to students, the latter because they were really lovely to my dad).

In a neatly circular conclusion to this wayward-puppy post, Toto have recently re-formed for a benefit tour for one of their members, who is an ALS sufferer. ALS was what my dad had. Everything is connected.

1 Presents for Da Niece are not a problem, because I acquire them off Teh Internets through the year. One of this year's books was Look! A book!, which Cory Doctorow recommended on the basis of its success with his 7-year-old daughter. It's wonderful, detailed artwork with a lovely sense of whimsy; Da Niece seems very taken with it. She's 6 this year, so it's proving a bit of a challenge to hit the right level of either complex enough to interest her when it's read to her, or simple enough that she can start to read it herself. I think this one works quite well in the latter category. In the former, she's about to hit the stage where she's ready for Diana Wynne Jones, and for Ursula Vernon's Dragonbreath series. Heh.

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[ profile] smoczek, being a lady of infinite resource and sagacity, has recently acquired the Fiasco! role-playing system, and five of us spent a somewhat enjoyable few hours in narrative construction yesterday. It's a lovely system: the point is character interactions rather than stats or exploring a world, and the whole thing progresses as a series of highly cinematic scenes, with responsibility for driving them rotating between characters. The mechanism for choosing and resolving scenes is both minimalist and elegant. At a conservative estimate I'd say that the whole thing was designed in response to the classic gaming group predicament of everyone wanting to play and no-one actually wanting to run a game, by a bunch of roleplayers with a neo-noir fixation, a respectable chunk of LARP-design experience, a good grasp of narrative balance, and thoroughly evil minds. It is quite possibly the most fun I've had role-playing ever, and I'm not just saying that because I ended up with the contortionist burlesque performer with pythons and a cat-burglary habit who finished the session having sold out absolutely everyone at least once. And we didn't even use the jewel-encrusted sex toy.

Also, the mechanism for choosing who gets to go first is to determine who has the smallest home town. I was born in Bulawayo. Win.

It was a lengthy, animated and (as usual) rather drunken session. I'm feeling more than somewhat fragile today, although I can't tell if that's because of the booze (I don't think so, actually), another thrice-damned sinus infection (a bit of an occupational hazard at the moment, everyone seems to be exploding from pollination), or the fact that I attended my Favourite Niece's fifth birthday party this morning. She had a fairy party. There must have been two dozen small kids there, most of them in some combination of fairy dresses, wings, wands, glitter and butterfly deely-bobbers, and a uniform outbreak of pink. Even the little boys were all crowns and cloaks and what have you. (And, for no adequately defined reason, a Spiderman). Much fun was apparently had by all. I bowed out early owing to the depredations of Sid, but it was rather fun watching them bounce around the show on frenetic cupcake energy. Also, memo to self, decision not to procreate apparently working well for me.
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We had a sort of family Christmas tea thingy on Sunday, to swap presents as my sister's away up the coast on Christmas Day itself. I gave Da Niece my latest discovery, which involves two rather entertaining kiddie books by one John Himmelman, Chickens to the Rescue and Katie Loves the Kittens. The Katie one is amusingly rude about dogs, but the chickens one is pleasingly demented, featuring chickens in snorkelling gear, crash helmets and heavens alone knows what else, all with the requisite degree of fuss and feathers. Thusly:

The conversation went something like this:

SISTER: Kids' books these days are really lovely. Also, you always seem to find the subversive ones.
ME (thoughtfully, placing tips of fingers together in approved Patrician pose): Why, yes. Yes, I do.

It is remotely possible that she was also eyeing my Christmas tree, which this year is graced at its apex, inside the giant Christmas star, by a tiny green plush Cthulhu doll I won in a raffle at a CLAW tournament lo these many moons ago. He's very festive.

I feel that my Aunt Dahlia quotient is proceeding apace. Those sproggle-owing individuals among you who don't mind a spot of subversion, now with extra verse, I do heartily recommend John Himmelman.

In other, equally weird and lateral Christmas news, today I appear to have emerged from the stationers bearing something the tillslip insists is an "XMAS GAL SIN". I wish I could say that this gal plans to sin extra-subversively at Christmas, but I fear it'll be the usual: idolatry (still immersed in Supernatural), sloth, gluttony and taking the Lord's name in vain while I try to beat the (*#$^*^$ Fire Temple in Zelda.
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Definition of success: hand Da Niece, who turned four yesterday, her birthday present, which included a slim vol. entitled Polkabats and Octopus Slacks, and have her utter a demented shriek of joy at the title. I recommend said vol., incidentally - it comprises a random selection of completely off-the-wall and surreal short poems with psychedelic illustrations and a nice line in unlikely rhymes. (I acquired it off Loot, not sure if Exclusive wots of its existence). She also scored the obligatory Gaiman (The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish), thus ensuring that I have fulfilled my auntly obligation to build up the necessary sf-geek-cred good and early.

Have woken up this morning with exhaustion, a snuffly head and aching joints, and a tendency to go for student throats with my teeth. Well, phooey. Shall console myself with silly photos of my silly cat, who insists on perching on the subwoofer, overflowing gently:

The only possibly caption for this photo is, of course, ALL YOUR BASS ARE BELONG TO US.
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Vignette from yesterday's party: distressed four-year-old comes dashing through the house to find me, because something in my bedroom (where three of them have been perpetrating unspecified small-girl evil) is ringing. I wander through and switch off my bedside alarm clock, which has mysteriously set itself.

"Someone must have switched it on," I say thoughtfully. "I certainly didn't. Who was playing with it?"
A ring of innocent faces gazes at me raptly. They exchange conspiratorial looks.
"The cat did it!" volunteers someone.

This morning I was rudely awakened at 7am by the ringing of my alarm clock, at the extremely loud and intrusive end of its graduated scale, which is audible even three rooms away behind a closed door. Staggering, dazed and semi-nude, through the house, I eventually tracked the bloody thing down tucked in a corner of the bookshelf in the guestroom, beeping its little head off.

I knew we'd be in trouble when the cats developed opposable thumbs. I struck a blow for an unsubjugated humanity by wantonly not feeding them breakfast before I staggered back to bed.
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I know the PA system in my local supermarket is bad (even when they're not trying to talk over their current, premature soundtrack of bad R&B covers of syrupy Christmas carols), but I'd swear that this morning the manager said "Manfred, calling Manfred, please will all available chicken sexers come to Receiving". I... I think my brain is stunned.

I also wish to record for posterity the indecent amount of pleasure I'm finding in tracking down weird and wacky kids' books for my three-year-old niece. This morning: I STINK!, which is a pleasingly rumbustious soliloquy from a garbage truck.


Tuesday, 21 October 2008 02:49 pm
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My family has a serious thing for owls, having raised two spotted eagle owl chicks when I was still at school. The surviving owl, the legendary Fred, lived in our garden for years and was semi-tame enough to come into the kitchen or stomp down the passage into the bedroom, hooting to herself - and, in fact, to try and nest in my mother's cupboard, in the remnants of a thoroughly destroyed straw hat. Fred-offspring were later actually produced on my dad's workbench in the shed. We like owls.

Da Niece appears to have inherited this liking, if her choice of birthday cake theme is any indication. In this case the wol is psychedelic, as only a three-year-old can possibly appreciate. The different-coloured eyes are particularly trippy. I also rather like Da Niece's incredibly grubby face in this shot.
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Wow. In the Department of the Randomly Surreal, I've just taken a phone call to my office landline in which the annoying MTN voice lady announced that I had an SMS. This was followed by a throaty male baritone which observed, in perfectly level tones and without noticeable word breaks, "MY MOM HAD STROLL WE HAD TO SEE HER IN." What is this, the new spam?

The last few days, for some reason, are making me fully grok the significance of the Georgette Heyer phrase "an irritation of the nerves." My nerves are irritated. Things fret me when they shouldn't, which is possibly why the usual EL non-communication is getting to me. On the other hand, twenty minutes browsing the Can Haz Cheeseburger archive were very soothing. I'm not a huge fan of LOLcats, only about one in twenty is truly amusing, but cute kitties are good for the soul.

My mother's youngest sister used to live in Cape Town, and was a notable figure in my childhood for the perfectly lovely books she used to send us. Literate aunts are extremely important, as I frequently tell my niece. Anyway, my favourite among the books that she sent was Anne Fine's The Summer House Loon, which is unusual in the annals of my childhood kiddielit memories in that it isn't actually fantasy. It's a sort of social and emotional comedy, I suppose, seen through the eyes of the barely-teenaged Ione, who both observes and manipulates the interactions between her blind professor father, his beautiful typist, and Ned, the dopey, hippy, shambling, entirely endearing grad student who's in love with the typist. I think I had a crush on Ned when I was a kid, actually, he's a wonderful combination of intelligent, funny and helpless. The story ambles gently and wittily between relationship angst, academic rivalry, early Sardinian trade routes, impromptu party-arranging, teenaged manipulativeness and first experiences of drunkenness; it's sharply well-observed and pleasantly inconsequential. I think its huge strength, though, is the way it immerses you in Ione's adolescent world, in its classic combination of narcissism and fascinated observation of grown-up motivations and concerns. I also suspect that this book is at least partially responsible for my attraction to the world of academia.
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In the Department of Tabloid Surrealism, more Daily Voice billboards:


I'm quite fond of the ellipsis in that one, it lends such an air of portentuous expectation. I also can't work out if its hints at animal transformation are more or less suggestively intriguing than the scenario suggested by its billboard-mate:


While this is clearly talking about binjas, I can't imagine why it's an endless ninja rubbish bin. Perpetual motion binjas?

Went back to the gym this week - feeling quite good, actually. Although, in the Department of the Malice of Inanimate Objects, on my way home from my first session the traffic light on Boundary/Main celebrated my return by suddenly losing the green phase allowing us onto Main Rd, backing up a huge queue of sweaty post-gym-goers who were becoming steadily more annoyed - and, one assumes, smelly - as the lights cycled through phase after phase without ever giving us a chance. Eventually we took matters into our own hands and filtered lawlessly out on the red into gaps in the traffic, amid a cacophony of hooting. It's amazing how persecuted a simple malfunction can make one feel.

Today's inspiration to parents everywhere:

Bibliophibians. Damn straight. I don't have the procreation excuse for my thousands of books, but I really don't propose to let that stop me. Also, this is a clear mandate to go right on buying random books for all the toddlers I know.

Speaking of which, the next kiddilit installment is in honour of The Mysterious Mwotn, since he's also fond of it. Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth is a truly odd exercise in children's allegory, featuring enormous amounts of conceptual and linguistic play. Milo, the hero, drives in his little toy car past his purple tollbooth into a world of embodied concepts: he jumps to Conclusions, becomes lost in the Doldrums, and visits the two kingdoms of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, who are at war having lost the Princesses Rhyme and Reason to the Demons of Ignorance. While the moral is clear, the book's wistful, whimsical tone stops the whole thing from being too preachy, and it has lovely touches of humanity and humour. Part of the charm is, I think, in the illustrations, which capture the tone perfectly.

Last Night I Dreamed: I was staying in a holiday house in England, in the snow, and writing columns for an old academic colleague whose political journal had a circulation of precisely 500 Scotsmen.

moon-carrot pie

Sunday, 7 September 2008 05:33 pm
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Mmmm. August's end-of-month payday celebration dinner, aka the Salty Cracker Club, was late this month - we ate at Ginja last night. We like Ginja. It's unexpected - you have to sidle down a narrow alleyway to get to the door, and inside its walls are painted a womblike red and the waiters are articulate and astonishingly over-informed. The food is amazing. Nouvelle/fusion, tiny servings laid out with geometrical precision on huge, white, interestingly-shaped plates, with various intense sauces and odd but wonderful combinations of flavour. I always start out that kind of meal thinking "rotten swizz" in terms of quantities, since you pay anything up to four times a steakhouse price for about a fifth of the food, but I'm always totally won over - and full - by the end of it. Particularly toe-curlingly ecstatic taste experiences last night included butter flavoured with honey and black beans, duck with foie gras, springbok wellington, dorado with walnuts, and bitter chocolate mousse served with eucalyptus ice-cream. Also, we drank too much and argued about Terry Pratchett. No surprises there, then.

In keeping with the food theme, this morning I hung out with my sister's family and made purple meringues under the exacting eye of my niece, who is a young lady who knows exactly what she wants.

This Retro Kiddielit September appears to have additional rules: no famous/obvious books, but instead the ones people might either not have heard of, or might think they're the only ones who ever read. (This is to cover my butt for not covering, for instance, The Hobbit).

Gerald Durrell is best known for his often hilarious autobiographical animal stories, My Family and Other Animals being the most famous; he is also, however, the author of a few children's novels. I grew up with The Donkey Rustlers, a kid-angled comedy set on Corfu, and on Rosie is my Relative, a Victorian romp about a repressed young man who is unexpectedly bequeathed an elephant by a mad uncle. My favourite, however, is The Talking Parcel, a children's fantasy about the underground realm of Mythologia and its absent-minded wizard ruler H.H. Junketberry, and the dastardly take-over plot by the evil Cockatrices. Durrell has that lovely combination of slight insanity with complete matter-of-factness; the adventure is a breakneck hotch-potch of slapstick, derring-do, eccentricity and inventiveness, together with a genuine sense of wonder and beauty and of the importance of preserving creatures put at risk by the modern world. Also, bonus effeminate eighteenth-century weasels, mooncalves, hiccupping firedrakes, a sea monster who's a chef, and a parrot who uses more long words than I do.
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I think the Cosmic Wossnames are feeling bad about Monday, Day Of Hell, because they obligingly rained buckets all afternoon yesterday. This is, as you are well aware, balm to my soul. Today is equally cloudy and rain-promising, and things are Looking Up. Nice phone call from my dad last night, plus promises of kid mohair yarn, also helped. Also, the faculty manager has approved my day officially ending at 4pm, which means - yay! - I can resume Friday afternoon Angelfests with [ profile] d_hofryn. (Although not this Friday). This resumption was clearly foreshadowed yesterday when the nice student's cellphone went off in the middle of a curriculum advice session with the Angel theme, which shows a degree of taste almost mitigatory to the iniquity of having your cellphone on in my office in the first place.

Random linkery! Because I have too much work to do (again!) to post properly. We have discussed, somewhat volubly, kiddie music in this venue in the past, and I feel obliged to pass on Zoogobble, which is a blog dedicated solely to - surprise! - music for kids. I hope this will materially assist all desperate parents, aunts and other purveyors of indoctrinatory music to the very young. The latest news is that BareNakedLadies are about to release a children's album, which should be worth a listen, yes indeedy.

And, on a not unrelated theme, Improv Everywhere, for whom I am vast developing a geeky passion, staged a "spontaneous" Food Court Musical. Their dedication to "scenes of chaos and joy in public places" makes me very happy.
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My favourite Xmas moment for 2007: my Evil Landlord gave me a set of kitchen knives, lovely ones in a bamboo stand. The gift tag was two plasters, with "TEH DOC" scrawled across their back in marker pen. I think stv's getting to him. But I went "awwwww".

Also, my niece in a bucket on the patio, circa Xmas day. She's insanely cute, and also at certain angles disturbingly identical to me at that age.

Thanks to all the Boxing Day braai attendees, it was an extremely pleasantly relaxed occasion despite slightly mad quantities of people. You should have stuck around for the aftermath, which was entertaining: me attempting to stop my mother from doing the washing up. This is basically futile, and we ended up in Twin Sink Mayhem, ripping through the debris in short order in a side-by-side mutual attempt to reduce the amount done by the other. Duelling banjos have nothing on us.

Last Night I Dreamed: vividly enough that I woke myself up at 2am replying to the loud statement I damned well heard from the mad old bat next door, although I think it was a particularly vivid dream. She said something like "Aren't you done yet?", implying that I should have been doing something rather than sleeping peacefully. I think I mendaciously shouted something like "Almost finished!" before realising I was dreaming. Then I couldn't get back to sleep for hours. Consequently a bit frayed today. Also sore from Gym, The Return.
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Good grief. Today's completely surreal experience: shopping in the local supermarket, wherein a scheduled power cut (they're digging up cables in the road outside) had caused a total and absolute failure of interior lighting, although the emergency generators were keeping the vital areas of the store going, viz. the tills. Spurning the attentions of rather archaic shop assistants bearing lighted candles, I found my way around by means of the torch which lives in my Capacious Handbag o'Doom. I felt pleasantly superior, but ended up accidentally buying all sorts of things I thought were actually something else.

This post is completely and absolutely for [ profile] schedule5, who is reportedly champing at the bit somewhat, exiled as she is in the benighted North and away from the hot reproductive action. [ profile] wolverine_nun's baby shower was this morning. I took photos. They're here.

Caveat: I am locked in an unrelenting death struggle with my camera, which has its own, idiosyncratic ideas about settings, speed and light. I nonetheless feel, as the legitimate owner of the camera and despite my complete and absolute absence of photographic skill, that my own preferences have some right to expression. A certain lack of harmony is inevitable. As a result, this batch of photos was uniformly awful. The seven I have actually put up are the best of a truly horrible lot. They're all yellow-lit because of the walls in [ profile] first_fallen's living room, but the blurriness is all my own work.

I shall attempt to assuage my wounded artistic feelings with soothing clouds, spotted on the way to the baby shower this morning.

I feel better now.

slightly sadistic

Monday, 22 October 2007 11:27 am
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My favourite World Cup1 story: one of the parents of the Toddler Horde2 yesterday was limping rather severely. His wife, in tones of miff, was recounting to all comers the source of the injury. Hubby, plus two friends (also male), allowed themselves to become (predictably) very inebriated during the World Cup. Afterwards, in celebration of our victory, all three of them climbed exuberantly on top of their car and jumped madly to the ground. Result (respectively): one sprained ankle, one dislocated knee, one broken leg. I bet they feel silly.

In other news, Da Niece is cute.

Pics up on Flickr. Readers who are not actually members of my immediate fambly are to feel free to ignore this completely. Instead, courtesy of thakaryn, here's a cute cat cartoon:

1 Nice that we won, but rather a boring game, all thumping pile-ups for two-inch progressions, no running. I do like watching rugby players run.

2 I survived! Even the psychological scarring was minimal.


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