Then I discovered computers and Neopets and the fact that CD players were pretty cool and somehow eight years went past without me caring about TV or playing in the backyard all that much. (Books are a different matter... books are more like, those things which are really cool, but I never seem to do as much with them as I'd really like. Although theoretically owning a Kindle now should fix that right up.)
I tell you this entire boring story as a prelude to telling you that I'm suffering from all kinds of gadget-related botheration right now. ( Read more... )
Today I found out that a human being could survive ninety seconds in deep space and still get better.
Sooooo I guess I have to cancel my whinging about River Song
's stupid plan about chucking herself out of an airlock in The Time of Angels. Technically she had 90 seconds. (Although after not many she'd have been quite sick so to some extent my point still holds. To some extent.)
Look, I remembered I still had to write this post!! Yay :D
Anyway... I adored this year's Christmas special, I have to say. It was all timey-wimey and awesome, and although there were some things about it (well mainly one thing) that I didn't like, these/this is minor and overall, I still adored the episode :p
Apparently it was hard to follow without watching it the whole way through; my sister missed the start and my mother missed chunks out of the middle, and neither of them had any idea what was happening in the episode as a result. But I watched the whole thing, so I remember.
Lastly... HOW FUCKING AWESOME WAS THAT TRAILER. The fez!!!!!
Yes, I won NaNoWriMo for another year ;D I'm pretty sure that I left victory the latest this year of any year — I crossed the 50,000 word mark on the 29th and I think I've usually finished around the 23rd or thereabouts although I don't quite remember — but regardless, I actually did pull through.
And I pulled through despite hating the way my novel was structured to begin with, and excising a point-of-view character before even getting to any of his scenes, and reworking the entire second half of the outline when I was halfway through the first half. I also fell significantly behind at one point and had to work hard to catch up (6,000-word days help), and then although I pulled significantly ahead, I didn't really stay there, hence the twenty-ninth-day victory. BUT ANYWAY I WON. That's the important part.
I basically like the idea I've had and the plot, but I don't like the way I've executed the plot, so I'm going to go back and rework it (again) at some point. I really want to do justice to this idea and construct it properly, and tone down the violence, and give the characters more scenes that demonstrate their actual characters in the first section of the novel. If you remember my last post, I was really irritated at how much my outline seemed to consist of gratuitous violence, so that's the section I need to fix up :P Yeah.
As you might already know, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year! This is the sixth year I've done it (I think... doing this every year since 2005 makes this my sixth year, right?), soooo by this point in time NaNoWriMo's become part of an established routine in my life. Something that's stuck by me for my entire adolescence. Something like that, anyway...
You might also know that I have this one novel that I've been writing and rewriting and rewriting again for approximately a gazillion years (i.e. three... and a bit). I'm not rewriting it again for NaNoWriMo. However, what I am doing is taking some of the things that were infodumped in the last chapter of that novel, and making a whole, new novel out of them. That novel is far more narrowly focused than this novel, concentrating more or less on one person and her life and the lives of the people she knows to some extent... but mostly about her.
This one, on the other hand, is broader and takes in different perspectives on events by people from different sides in this extremely messy conflict I managed to invent! One of the plot threads has been in my head a long, long time – approximately as long as my constantly-rewritten novel's one – because it was where I intended one of the secondary characters in that novel to go. I changed my mind though because I didn't think her personality would actually countenance it, so now there's a new character. Basically. Yeah.
Then there are three other main characters. Two of them have kind of short-ish plotlines, and the last doesn't have much of a plotline at all because I haven't thought of one yet. Right now he has a short plotline about the same length as the other two, but it's supposed to be much longer. So I need to work on that xD
The actual plot (...theme? premise?) of the novel basically goes like this: there's a country with two major ethnic groups, presided over by an evil totalitarian government. It maintains a system of segregation so that most localities are monoethnic, and also so that it can restrict the flow of information and ideas between localities. It pretends to be fair and just, but in reality it favours one race, the descendants of the island's occupiers when it was part of an empire, over the other. So a crazy-insane extremist movement begins to gain currency within the oppressed group, and eventually, it gains enough strength to topple the state. The rest of the novel is basically about... what happens next. Two of the main characters die, another suffers for a long time before managing to get out, and the last... well he's the one whose plot I haven't figured out yet but I'm pretty sure he enjoys himself. For a while at least.
Anywayyyy I started writing at 12am on the dot obviously (no wait actually I didn't because I was talking to someone so we only started at like 12.30 haha oops) and I'm now at 1,703 words, with one chapter totally down :D I don't hate the chapter either, so I am considering (strong emphasis on the part of that word which entails the meaning "undecided") posting it. If I do, it'll probably be friends/access-only or perhaps filter-locked depending on how I feel so if you're interested, speak up ;)
You can consider this a Halloween treat if you like, provided you're decked out in costume! If not, well... consider it just another post. I don't know, seriously, consider it however you want.
Sooo I wrote this in August, and then never posted it. In case you don't remember the ~historical background~ to this product of August, there was a federal election here, and this federal election was preceded by an election campaign. One of the big issues of the campaign was refugees, and in particular, the two major parties were competing with each other to see who could produce the most disgusting policy with the most outrageous deprivations of human rights.( Last Night on Earth )
If you don't know myki is Victoria's
upstart usurper of a ticketing system ~*~smartcard ticketing system~*~ where you like get this credit card thing and you're supposed to ~~tag on~~ and ~~tag off~~ every time you get on or off a train, tram, or bus.
(Actually technically you're not supposed to tag off when you get off the tram, unless your tram trip was wholly within the zone 1/2 overlap, in which case you are. METLINK'S ONLY HOBBY IN LIFE IS BEING CONFUSING ok.)
myki may sound like a "good idea" if you geek out over science fiction-y smartcard systems (understandable that was my own reaction when myki was first supposed to be introduced.............. in 2006) but if you consider that Melbourne already has an A-GRADE AMAZING TICKETING SYSTEM called METCARD it basically sucks. ( And basically there's two reasons for this: )
As of next Monday, it’s re-enrolment season! This means that Monash is spamming me with approximately ONE TRILLION emails reminding me to enrol, even though it is NOT POSSIBLE YET, and it is quite annoying. I think you should know this.
Anyway, because I’m a BA(Global) student, I got this extra helpful “hint” about what I ought to be selecting once re-enrolments actually open:
Re-enrolment for 2011 commences next week, and it is expected that BA(Global) students entering their second year of study will take the unit ATS2559 ‘Global Studies’ in semester 1 and will need to select a minimum of two units for the year for the International Studies major.
Sorry.( Read the rest of this entry » )
With the grand final rematch set to take place tomorrow, it feels like a fitting day to write about something of great cultural significance to Australia: football. This is something so significant to people in this country that even people who reject the entire idea of “Australian culture” (like I don’t know… me) still take an interest in football.
The first thing to know about football, though, is that there is a cultural battle of sorts raging over which sport even gets the title of “football”. Our three main contenders for the position are:
Based on this list, I’m sure you will see that I am not at all biased when I say that the true bearer of the name of “football” is, uh, football. That is, the kind of football they play in the Australian FOOTBALL league.( Read the rest of this entry » )
One of the best things about feeling angry, in fact pretty much the only good thing about it, is the way I can often channel what I'm feeling into a piece of writing. This particular piece didn't take a lot of thought or editing, just me adding words to the file and getting into a rhythm. It's not my "usual" style of writing where there are characters and events and things happen and you can see them, but it's more like poetry in the format of prose. Anyway, I don't feel like I have to justify my work before you've even read it, so just click through :)( Things in life that aren't very fair )
One of the downsides to studying linguistics, if you’re anything like me, is that you start listening very closely to the way other people speak. Of course, if you’re anything like me you wouldn’t consider this a downside, you’d consider this pure awesomeness. Just think, every time you get super-bored in international studies, you can just listen to your classmates and think, “Oh wow, did they just do the whole Melbourne Accent™ thing and pronounce an [e] like /æ/?” or, “Hey, so I’m not the only one who substitutes glottal stops for [t]s! Awesome!”
As you can see my classes are very exciting.
Anyway, someone I know said I should write a post about Australian accents, and since I adore accents, I thought I would. Actually what he said was I should talk about the homogeneity of Australian accents, but I feel like this is a bit unfair.
Of course Australian accents are far more homogeneous than, say, British accents, or even North American accents. There’s not really any such thing as a “New South Welsh accent”, for instance, although I was once reading a Lost fan wiki that claimed there was. That kind of misinformation should be on Mythbusters, man — there’s truly not. While there are multiple Australian accents, none of them are tied down to specific regions of the country (possibly excluding the country/city divide). That said, there are different accents, and (in General Australian anyway) further variations on top of those accents.( Read the rest of this entry » )
As you’re probably aware if you’ve read my About page (lol who does that), I study Global Arts at Monash. When I was listing my preferences in VTAC around a year ago, I was tossing up whether I should list Arts or Global Arts first. They’re basically the same thing, except that Global Arts is more restrictive — you must major in international studies, you must go on exchange for at least a semester, you must take these “global studies” electives. You can do all of that within Arts as well (except for the “global studies” electives but they don’t look very fun, so I don’t think anyone would want to), but you don’t have to.
So I went with it, but I’m a little over the idea of Global Arts now.
You know why? Because international studies is possibly my least favourite subject. I say “possibly” because history and Spanish are also not very fun — basically the only subject I genuinely like any more is linguistics, although the only reason I dislike history is my fuckwit tutor and if not for him, I think it’d be okay.
Anyway, I was going to write a good old-fashioned rant about everything wrong with my degree and everything I want to do instead, but then I realised that would be a little boring. And we all know that there’s only one thing that can make a boring post interesting.
Lists.( Read the rest of this entry » )
As you may know, last week was election week at Monash Clayton, and therefore a rollicking good time of real politic and finally understanding why Go! truly are the utter scumbags everyone says they are. It is absolutely exhausting and I say that even though I was hardly the most dedicated of campaigners, due to certain other life events getting in my way (do not feel obliged to talk about them, dear commenters).
Anyway, I could have written you a post about it. But I decided not to.
Yes, I decided to record an audio post about them instead. My last one seemed so popular, I might as well do another, right? (Since I already did do one, don’t tell me no!) I hope my accent and voice are clear and comprehensible, as well as awesome, but as I already mentioned in my last audio post I don’t think it’s that awesome. This is possibly a good thing as it means it can’t overshadow the awesomeness of the content that is to follow! Behold:
(In total, this post amounts to about fourteen minutes straight of me speaking, so I’m sorry! But on the bright side this probably means it would have been like a 2,000 word entry, so perhaps you should be grateful I decided to speak all of that instead!)
For once, I’m going to use a music post to promote a band that barely anyone in the world seems to know about, but is really, really good and deserve to be better-recognised. That is, 78 Saab.
They’re not entirely my usual style — a bit folky, a bit country — but they’re just amazing. If I had to compare them to other artists in my collection, they’re probably similar to Arcade Fire… and maybe others? I don’t know. Anyway, I own their album The Bells Line, and every track bar two is rated five stars in my library. However, “Kandahar” is probably my favourite.
If you’ve never heard this song before I don’t blame you. There was no copy of it on YouTube for me to embed, and not even that repository of all wisdom in the world, Google, can tell me what the lyrics are. Luckily for all of you guys I was dedicated enough to install Windows Live Movie Maker, create a video out of it, and upload to YouTube… and having listened to the song about a million times, I’ve made a pretty good attempt at transcribing the lyrics!( Read the rest of this entry » )
I was on a packed bus a few days ago, in the dark, in the rain, and for some reason a memory came to mind of a packed train in sunny Perth almost three years ago. We were on holiday, heading back to our hotel after a day in Fremantle, with a lot of other people who were heading back from a day at the Royal Perth Show. There were a group of three boys about my age chatting excitedly about their day and plotting mischief. One of their showbags had come with a laser light, so they were constructing a devious plan to blind policemen with the light while running away from whatever. Harmless stuff, as you can see.
But the grey-haired man next to them had a stern, grouchy look on his face, and this look only darkened as the boys got even further developing their plan. Finally, he burst: “Do that and you’ll get shot!”
The boys looked at him, shocked. “What? Why?”
“Police officers are trained to shoot first and think later, if they’re blinded,” the man snapped. “I shot a boy your age once!”
“Are you a police officer?” one of them asked, in a tone approaching guilt.
“No! No, I’m much worse than that. Look, I’m not saying you will get shot, but if you’re going to mess around doing things like that you’ll have to expect it.”
Another of the boys asked, defiantly, “What were you doing that meant you had to shoot a boy?”
“That is none of your business!”
“Are you proud of yourself? Are you glad you shot a kid?”
The man looked away, staring pointedly at the wall on the other side of the train as if he couldn’t hear them.
“I bet he was in the army,” said this boy. “Who else would shoot kids? He’s a soldier, I’m sure of it.”
“You’re probably right,” said another of the boys. “He was probably on patrol or something, and snapped and killed someone. That’s what soldiers do.”
“I bet he’s not even guilty,” continued this defiant boy, so loudly that the entire half of the carriage could hear him. “I bet he’s proud of himself. That’s what soldiers are like, aren’t they? Remorseless killers!”
The man pretended not to hear him, but his face became redder and redder as they made further declarations about the remorselessness of the military. Until finally, he got off the train, to the jeering of the boys.( Read the rest of this entry » )
I have three other posts in the works, one about a song, another about the most amazing conversation I’ve ever eavesdropped on on public transport (in Perth three years ago… both those posts are actually finished but w/e), the last on the subject of democracy or capitalism, and which ought to be ditched in favour of the other (I sincerely hope you can guess my answer to that question), at the request of someone who’d like me to discuss it!
So I will post about all of those things, but not right now, because the post about democracy v. capitalism isn’t finished yet (mostly because I got a bit carried away and wrote 2,500 words… you don’t even know how it drives me mad to have such an easy time writing that essay, when my 2,000 word essay for history class seems so much harder), and the others, uh, I don’t want to sully with this stupid explanation at the start of the post! This one is better to mess up.
So, obviously there is the number one, broadest, most widely applicable reason why this week was awesome:
ABBOTT’S NOT GOING TO BE OUR PRIME MINISTER
You know what would have been even awesomer? That would have been if Labor posed any kind of genuine left-wing alternative. It doesn’t, and judging by the party’s rhetoric in recent times and the way its government depends upon the allegiance of three independents (two conservatives and a small-l liberal) it is going to get 100% more right-wing in its coming term. Good thing we’re still prepared to fight them, right? Good thing we weren’t like, “Oh, relief! Abbott’s not prime minister! Guess this means we can end all of our political activism ”
Yeah, we obviously did not do that.( Read the rest of this entry » )
Hay guys. I decided to sign up for promptbingo a few days ago, on a whim. Basically this means I have a card (as you can see below!) of 25 prompts and I think I'm actually supposed to write something for all of them... which is not what bingos typically involve... but I DON'T CARE because almost all of these prompts look extremely promising :)
|childhood abuse||attempted murder||unrequited love||assault||needles|
Anyway... I guess I'll update this post with links as I fill the prompts? As a heads-up, I said I'd fill these prompts with a mix of Doctor Who fanfic and original fiction (and if I'm to be quite honest, it'll lean quite heavily to the original fiction side!) so LOOK FORWARD TO IT. Yeah.
I think we’ve established that I’m a pretty democratically-minded person. For instance, when I was getting tons of hits for variations on “INT1010 lecturer”… I decided that the Googlists of the world were voting with their searches, and wrote about him.
Of course, this now means I’m getting lots of hits for incredibly bizarre search terms like “my lecturer as a brother”. DID I EVER SAY THIS ABOUT MY LECTURER? You know what, no, no I really didn’t. How are you finding my blog for this?! (Apparently it’s because I made a Big Brother reference in that post. That lecturer shouldn’t run mobile phone polls in class, I tell you! Then this would never have happened.)( Read the rest of this entry » )
Basically the whole of this presentation is encapsulated in the audio files that are to follow, so I don’t think an introduction is needed. Just so you know though, when I recorded it it was all in one file. Then Audioboo told me my files had to be five minutes or less, so I broke it up. I tried to find a not-so-abrupt place to split it (I cut it out over a long “um” actually) but if it still sounds a bit abrupt, that’s why.
This was really fun actually, so I think I’m going to make more audio posts in the future( Read the rest of this entry » )