vanessarama: (Default)
I've always had trouble with scheduling and time management. Recently I've found a really nifty little thing that helps with that: HabitRPG. It's a website and also comes as an app.

It's a nice concept, not especially original since it works in with the whole 'gamification' craze. But it works for me better than any other gamification app, because you can form a party with other people and venture forth to defeat monsters. The more of your daily tasks you accomplish, the harder you hit the monsters and the more protected you are; eventually you can buy better equipment and you get eggs which can be hatched into pets and stuff.

I've mainly found it handy because I don't want to let my party down - when you miss a daily task, your entire party takes a hit. So I'm actually managing to exercise and take my medicine and give Oliver his medicine and do the dishes every day, just so we don't all get slaughtered by a gryphon! It's working for me, which is great. Whatever works.
vanessarama: (bearded colin)
Have just realised how long it is since I posted anything, apart from today's amusement.

I am busy! I now have two pieces of consulting work on the go. It's challenging and exciting! Also, the giving circle I am involved in is really taking off. It's a great concept - 100 people who each contribute $1000 and that means you can make one big grant to a small charity and feel like a big donor with a relatively small amount.

Colin Morgan missed the last few performances of The Tempest due to illness and rumour has it he's in the hospital on an antibiotic drip, poor lamb. I hope he gets properly better soon. Sad that he missed the last performances when the last night is usually fun, and it was so obviously something that gave him such joy. Cue happy Colin curtain call photos). Not to mention the rest of us.
(Thanks as always to [ profile] rodneyscat for always finding and posting the best Colin shots).

(I love curtain calls. There was a time when I got tearful at every single one I saw, just because everyone always seemed so happy and lovely. I do find myself caught up in big swirls of crowd emotion, sometimes).

In genealogy and history news, I went to the State Library's Family History Feast, which is a free one-day genealogy seminar series. This year's Feast concentrated on WW1 ancestry. The opening speaker was absolutely amazing - his grandmother had told him never to become a soldier, because her uncle had been a soldier and had gone missing after the Battle of Fromelles. He did become a soldier, and he got together with some friends and through diligent examination of aerial photographs before and after the battle, as well as German photographs taken of the mass burials, they identified the likely gravesite and went there to excavate. And they were right. One of the first objects they detected was a Good Luck medal given to a soldier by his local shire, and they worked out by a process of elimination that the only person that medal could have belonged to was his great-uncle. Eventually the Army got involved. They have now recovered 249 lost diggers, and identified 124 of them, one being his great-uncle, and his grandmother got to say goodbye to her beloved uncle a month before she died.

He showed us an aerial photo of the battleground, and where the different units were, and pointed out that one of them was a unit formed in the part of South Australia which had been mostly settled by German immigrants - so young men called Schmidt and Blücher were firing at other young men called Schmidt and Blücher, for such a pointless war. It was a story told so simply and with such down to earth humour, but so moving. I got tearful, and I bet others did too. You could have heard a pin drop in there.
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
And now for something completely different; Things I Like!

1. Opening night of The Tempest fan comments. YAY YAY YAY I AM GOING TO SEE THIS TWICE.

2. 17 Sundays. If you are a lady of curves living in Australia (or even overseas, they ship worldwide) check them out. Their clothes are extremely cool and extremely comfy, and not expensive for what they are. They've also got a range called 17 Sundays Basics, which is cheaper. You can also buy them at The Iconic, which sometimes has a bigger range. It's odd but they have completely revised the way I dress and the way I feel about my body, and how self-conscious I am. Today I am wearing their Snake Eyes wet-look leggings and the Mercy Belt, which is a big three-buckled waist belt, and I feel like a million dollars in them. I can also highly recommend their dresses and I just got this jacket in which I feel like another million dollars.

(This recent shopping frenzy is, unfortunately, mainly due to me thinking every couple of days "I've had such a crappy day, I deserve a present!")

3. Discarded Images - a tumblr full of awesome little images from mediaeval manuscripts. Did you know people were just as obsessed with pictures of cats in mediaeval times as they are now? I particularly love the many cats licking their bottoms which appear in margins of Gospels and the like. Not to mention the plethora of mediaeval fart jokes and surprisingly explicit nudity.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)
America, you did very well indeed. Thank you, thank you!
vanessarama: (merlin: team camelot)
Two awesome, inspiring men have died over the past few days.

Denny Fitch, the off-duty pilot who stepped into the cockpit to help steer a plane with no flight control, and by doing so helped save 184 of the 296 people on United Flight 232, has died aged 69.

And Don Ritchie, the 'Angel of the Gap' who is thought to have saved upwards of 160 lives over the past 40 years by approaching would-be suicides at the edge of The Gap near his home, has died aged 86. He used to approach with a gentle smile, ask "Is there anything I could do to help you?" and often ended up bringing people home for tea and toast.

Gentlemen, I salute you both. Rest well now.
vanessarama: (Default)
Hey, there was an interview with Colin Morgan in the Age Green Guide (their weekly TV liftout guide) this morning. Sorry for the crap scan (am at work)

Colin in the Green Guide
vanessarama: (smiley colin)
So today was the second full day of Supanova and the Colin Morgan panel, and it was absolutely fantastic.

[ profile] vissy and I actually lined up for the panel before Colin's, not wanting to experience the hour-long wait in the sun that had characterised the Billy Boyd session, and then we just let everyone go past us and ended up close to the front (we weren't the only ones doing the sneaky clever thing!) We ended up with an excellent view, in the third row (the first two were reserved for the people who paid VIP prices, ie, hundreds). Alas, they only let us take photos for the first five minutes and only without flash, so the shots I managed to get were pretty grainy. But Colin was in great form; he was funny and relaxed and chatty. I'm sure many of you have already heard about the giant "You're the Voice' singalong (which did make me cringe a wee bit) so here are the few really interesting highlights for me:

- Someone asked about how musical he was. He said he'd pretty much picked up and played any instrument he could ever since he was a kid, drums, piano, accordion - I think he said his mum had, or had given him, a Casio keyboard? He never learned the notes, but played what he heard and said "imitation is an actor's passion". But he said he had a problem with singing and it was an issue for him at drama school.
- a wee little girl asked if he was going out with Katie & he said "no we're not"
- he said the best scene he'd filmed with Bradley was the most iconic Merlin & Arthur moment from the legends, which has been referenced before in the show, but hasn't screened yet.
- he did a very cute imitation of a horse trying to mess with his head and buck him off :)
- He can speak cat! He and cats connect on the cosmic level :)
- He had many good things to say about Catherine Tate - she's brilliant, incredibly funny, he couldn't say enough good things about her
- Someone asked about the props and whether he'd got to take any home; he said the thing he wants most is the little wooden dragon Balinor made for Merlin, and the thing he has is a prop from 4.04 - "you can fry it, boil it, poach it... and it's MINE."
- He says the finale of this season is phenomenal and he doesn't know how they'll get out of it.
- There was a "truth or dare" - he was dared to do ten sit-ups and had to hitch up his jeans before he did so :)

- and I transcribed this bit from the rather awful audio I recorded (so there is a word missing or muffed here and there) because I thought it showed how happy it made him and I know [ profile] rodneyscat will like it :) As he was saying goodbye Colin said "I've had a chance to speak to most of you with the signing and the photos... And you really really have exceeded the expectations of what the Australian fans are like, you've represented your country absolutely fantastically... You've made me so at home and so welcome, it really is an honour, so thank you so much once again, you're all brilliant!" And I think he really meant it; he really did seem so genuinely pleased and happy and bowled over. At one point he commented about all the love in the room. So many hearts from everyone!!!

In short: Colin happy. Fans happy. He spread the joy around, and it was good.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)

Colin Morgan is coming to Australia.

Repeat, Colin Morgan is coming to Australia.

And so is Billy Boyd!

Guess who just bought tickets to Supanova? THAT WOULD BE ME.

vanessarama: (destiny)
11-year-old Charlie Fine writes an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, asking the Premier not to let the conservative Christian lobby convince him to abolish ethics classes in school.

"I trust you not to be manipulated by a man who on Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras gets down on his knees and prays for rain."

I don't care if his mum might have helped him write it or if his parents might know people at the SMH; it's times like this I let myself hope that the world is, in some small way, getting better if it keeps producing kids like this to take us into the future.
vanessarama: (merlin: happy merlin)
You guys, you guys, today I had a Revelation! I baked something. I did it with yeast and the yeast turned into dough and it rose and I punched it and kneaded it and made something awesome. This was my first (successful) time baking with live yeast. OH MY WORD. It's amazing. The dough comes together into a lovely squishy ball! It feels so strangely smooth and pliant under my hands! It makes the kitchen smell heavenly!

For those who are interested, this is the recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread. Highly recommended. I think when I next make it, I'll use less sugar than she suggests; it was so sticky and gooey and cinnamony, I nearly overdosed, which is a feat considering I only ate about a quarter of it.

Now I am planning to make a savoury version with cheese. OM NOM NOM. Baking! With yeast! I recommend it!

I also finished blocking a shawl. Again, YOU GUYS. It is black cashmere. It is massive - 7 feet in wingspan, easily, and the bottom panel hits my bum. It is done in the Faroese style, meaning it's shaped so it stays on my shoulders. Here's a quick sneak preview of it blocking:

Tomorrow is a day I am not looking forward to. I have a lot to do; I have to give two workshops this week, and my sidekick/second-in-command is also going to be in. She is only in one day a week and it's hard work; she's so gung-ho and she works really hard and has so many ideas, that I find myself a bit whirled around while she's in. Still, she is smart and funny and worth her weight in gold. Or in cinnamon sugar bread.

Also, I liked this week's (UK) Doctor Who. Phew!
vanessarama: (colin colin colin)
OH my god, how much more can I adore Colin Morgan than I possibly do already?

Also, the conference call tidbits at the end are particularly cute.

And my second good thing of the day is, surprisingly, a legal judgement. I browse new judgements on Austlii regularly; I began doing it for work, but then I found out how interesting it can be (not to mention how freakin' normal and sane it makes me feel compared with some of the stuff people do). And this week I came across a decision in the Supreme Court of NSW involving adoption by a same-sex couple. The judge explains:

because this is the first adoption application by a same sex couple in this State and because there has been considerable debate in the community as to whether same sex couples should be allowed to adopt, it is important for the Court to explain the reasons for its decision, not only to the parties but to the community at large.

Reading the history of these two poor kids and how their natural mother has behaved made me fume. Reading the judge's observation on how amazingly 'Mr Smith and Mr Jones' have taken two difficult and unhappy children and turned their lives around gives me so much hope:

All of this evidence was corroborated and, indeed, heightened by my own observation of Mr Smith, Mr Jones and the children when they, their families and friends attended Court for the formal making of the adoption orders. The love and trust between the children and Mr Smith and Mr Jones – whom the children call “Dad” and “Papa” – were palpable. The children, happy and outgoing, stood close to their new fathers, hugging them in moments of excitement and at other times unconsciously reaching for their hands.

There's a lot I could say about the community attitudes that made it necessary for this judgement to be public, but I won't, because that would bring a negative tinge to what looks like a wonderful, exemplary and entirely good outcome for everyone concerned. Yay Mr Smith and Mr Jones!


vanessarama: (Default)

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