dolorosa_12: (sokka)
(I'm going by dates in the month, not posts in the series, hence the jump from Day 1 to Day 4.)

Kathy (a friend who doesn't have an LJ/Dreamwidth account), asked me to talk about 'doing gymnastics.' Given we met when she was six and I was eight, while we were doing gymnastics, I think that's a very appropriate topic!

I started gymnastics when I was seven, when my mother noticed that I was spending more time on my hands than my feet, and seemed to be climbing to the tops of trees and playground equipment on every available opportunity. Her suspicion proved correct: I loved gymnastics, and continued to do gymnastics for the next ten years. I began in the 'recreational' group, which was a class of one hour a week, and slowly made my way from the lowest levels of regional competitive gymnastics (the kinds of competitions where hundreds of girls were packed into a tiny gymnasium and everyone got a ribbon) to state- and national-level competitions which involved months of arduous training, and, for some reason, industrial quantities of glittery hairspray holding beribboned french braided hair in place. At my peak, I was training for around twelve hours a week, and was strong enough to do fifty chin-ups, hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups without effort, and could climb a rope with weights tied around my ankles, using only my arms.

It was clear, pretty early on, that I was not destined for the Olympics, but I still worked incredibly hard, because it was important to me to do as well as I could at the level I was at, and I was the sort of child and teenager who had no problem with endless repetition and practice, as long as it led to a successful score, exam result, grade, or praise from authority figures. It also helped that I really, really loved doing gymnastics - learning the skills, though sometimes difficult and frustrating, was fun, and because they weren't skills that the average person could do without training, I always felt a real sense of achievement when I learnt to do something well. And, best of all, doing routines on my favourite apparatus - bars - felt like flying.

I'd like to talk about two other things I came to appreciate about being a gymnast. These were not apparent to me at the time, but as an adult, it's clear to me that there were two major benefits to being a gymnast beyond simply physical fitness and another arena in which to develop a good work ethic.

Firstly, precisely because I was not naturally very good at gymnastics - and indeed was not even the best gymnast in my group/team, let alone regionally or nationally - being a gymnast gave me the experience of a decade of working really, really hard at something in which I was never going to succeed. This meant, firstly, that I had to redefine how I understood 'success': success as a gymnast thus became learning new skills, and, after months of hard, repetitious work, performing them as well as I could, progressing to higher levels, and getting scores that I considered to be reasonable. Secondly, a lot of things came easily to me as a child, and I think it was helpful to have areas of my life, such as gymnastics (maths was a similar area, and piano, although I did well in exams, was not naturally easy to me and required hours of practice) in which I had to work very, very hard. I think this gave me a sense of perspective, and prepared me for times later in life in which persistent, repetitive, consistent work would be required.

The second reason I'm grateful for my decade doing gymnastics is that it spared me a lot of traumas and pains of adolescence, especially those common to being a teenage girl. Because I spent the years between the ages of seven and seventeen running around in a mixed-gender gym wearing very little clothing, I managed to avoid body-image issues, instead viewing my body purely as something powerful, something that could do extraordinary things. Because gymnastics took up so much of my spare time, I missed out on most of the house parties, underage nightclubbing, and drunken nights hanging out in the playgrounds of inner-south Canberra that were common to my cohort (and indeed attended by many of my friends). Although these often sounded like a lot of fun, they were also the site of a lot of heartbreak, dubiously consensual sexual activity - and occasionally, sexual assault and violence - none of which we were equipped to deal with. I can remember conversations with my female friends, when we were fourteen, fifteen, sixteen that worried me for reasons I couldn't then articulate, but which now fill me with sadness, as well as relief that I was spared those particular experiences during my teenage years. Of course, what ended up happening was that all the angst, and painful or mortifyingly embarrassing experiences that normally happen in your teens happened to me in my twenties! I might have been slightly more mature than I would've been as a teenager, but I was still ill-equipped to handle them, and my early-to-mid-twenties were really awful in lots of ways. I'm still glad I missed out on all that in my teens, though.

I had to give up gymnastics when I was seventeen, nearly eighteen, towards the end of my second-last year of secondary school, due to both the pressure of schoolwork and the fact that a decade of slamming with the full force of momentum, speed and gravity onto my narrow, flat feet had taken its toll. There's a reason you don't see many older gymnasts - Oksana Chusovitina notwithstanding - the body can't take it after a while. But I still keep vaguely in touch with the goings on at my old gymnastics club (which is now run by a former teammate of mine, and her husband, who was a fellow gymnast at our club), watch Olympic gymnastics, the World Championships, and other high-level competitions whenever they come around, and am still friends with people I met more than twenty years ago when we were little girls dressed in the best in lurid '90s lycra, dreaming of our very own puffy fringes.
dolorosa_12: (what's left? me)
Birth: Stop wrapping your arm around your neck. You're hurting your mother.

0: Yes, your parents are at present a rock music journalist and a foreign correspondent flitting all over North and South America. Don't worry. They won't expect you to ever be that cool.

1: Don't worry. The vacuum cleaner can't hurt you. Neither can the blender. Neither can the food processor.

2: Don't worry. The cracks in the ceiling and in the tiles of the bath aren't ants. Neither are the black lines painted on the floor of the swimming pool. They can't hurt you. The cicadas make a really loud noise, but they're tiny little insects, not one giant animal 'as big as a bear'. It's not your fault your mother didn't explain that in a way you understood. The cicadas can't hurt you.

Your aunts are going to allow you to walk around them in circles, talking at them. They will draw pictures of the stories you tell them. They will transform the couches on your front patio into two horses that take you on adventures. Your grandfather will build you a bedhead and swim with you in the ocean, and your grandmother will tell you stories. Your other grandfather will build you a bookcase, and your other grandmother will sew clothes for your dolls. You will be surrounded by cousins. This will be more precious to you than gold.

3: Stop being jealous of your newborn sister. She is amazing, and you will love her very much.

4: Don't worry that you hate preschool. There is a boy there who hates it even more, so much that he will spend every lunchtime attempting to climb over the fence and escape. One day he will succeed. Your mothers will bond over their children's reluctance to be at preschool. Years later, his mother will be your mentor in your first 'grown-up' job.

5: Don't worry. You will learn to read. It will happen suddenly, and it will feel like a thunderbolt resounding in your head, and you will be astonished, and it will lead you into a thousand other worlds.

6: 'Just ignore them and they'll stop doing it' is the worst piece of advice you will ever be given.

7: The way they treat you is not okay.

8: The way they treat you is not okay.

9: The way they treat you is not okay.

10: This new friendship group is great, but it will not survive one of its members returning to East Timor. Sorry about that.

11: The way they treat you is not okay.

12: You've cut your hair and pierced your ears and changed your name. That's a good start. These new friends you've made in high school seem pretty great. You might want to hang onto them.

It's okay that you love Hanson. You don't need to be embarrassed.

13: The way she treats you is not okay.

14: The way they treat you is not okay.

15: He's not a mind-reader. Tell him how you feel about him.

16: He's not a mind-reader. Tell (this different) him how you feel about him.

17: You're right. You have found your tribe. Hold on to this feeling. You will feel it again, but not for a very long time.

18: You're right. Leaving Canberra does feel like cutting your heart out. You are going to take six years to get over this, but I promise you that eventually you will feel that same sense of place in Sydney.

19: Your mother is amazing, but you don't need to take all her advice.

20: How you're feeling is not your friends' fault.

21: You are making really good academic choices.

How you're feeling is not your friends' fault.

22: I wish I could say 'don't move back to Canberra', but if you didn't, you'd never meet the sraffies, and you'd never go to Cambridge, so you're going to have to grin and bear it.

23: You have made the best and bravest decision of your life.

Remember what I said about finding your tribe? Yeah, you've found them.

24: What he did to you was not okay.

25: You will never feel such extremes of emotion again.

He saved you, but don't make it mean more than it should.

One day, you will be grateful to him for walking away when you couldn't.

(Late 25 and) 26: Hold onto this one. He is what home feels like.

27: Don't move to Heidelberg.

28: Applying for JRFs is a waste of your time and limited emotional energy.

29: See! You were capable of getting a PhD.

30: I'll get back to you in December.
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
There is a particular dish which is, to me, the very definition of comfort food. Growing up, I think we probably ate it once a week (both my parents cooked it, but their versions differed subtly). I think it was one of the first things I learnt how to cook, and after I moved out of home it was one of a set of several meals that I cycled through every couple of weeks. I've moved house (and country) lots of times in my adult life, and, almost without realising it, I fell into the habit of cooking this dish on the first night in a new house. It became something of a ritual to mark the fact that I'd become secure in a new suburb, city, or country: locate the ingredients for comfort food, make a new kitchen my own.

It's an incredibly simple dish, and requires only five ingredients and about twenty minutes of your time. It's based on a recipe by Marcella Hazan because my mother learnt to cook from my father in New York in the '80s, and Marcella Hazan was A Thing then.

Recipe behind the cut )

Do any of you have particular dishes that define comfort food for you?
dolorosa_12: (le guin)
Content note: death of a grandparent )

This is technically a eulogy, which is why some bits might read oddly for an LJ/Dreamwidth entry.

--------------------
*Note: The grandchildren call my grandfather 'Tony'.
dolorosa_12: (sokka)
Brace yourselves! I've just done yet another music meme.

Questions and answers behind the cut )

*You haven't lived until you've driven between Canberra and Sydney listening to my mother, sister and me belting out the lyrics to every song on one of our many 'driving CDs'.
dolorosa_12: (teen wolf)
Kingston (later Griffith) Public Library, Canberra
This was my local public library when I was a child, and it was like a treasure box to me. It was in Kingston until about 1993, when it moved to a bigger and better location at the former Griffith Primary School. It had the most amazing children's and YA collection, and I discovered many of the most meaningful books of my life there (The Girls in the Velvet Frame! Of Nightingales That Weep! Shadowdancers!). As a teenager, I began every school assignment there, reading the relevant entries in encyclopedias in order to find reference books (my cohort was on the cusp - the internet existed, but it was all but useless as a reference tool). But the truly amazing thing about this library was its librarians, and how dedicated and passionate they were. Every weekend, two of them hosted a reading group for children, where they would read stories aloud and run activities. They were really knowledgeable about children's books and genuinely loved children and encouraged them to read. I wish I'd been able to go back as an adult before they retired and told them how much they meant to me.

The truly sad thing is that in 2007, the ACT government shut down Griffith Library due to a perceived lack of use, leaving the entire inner south of Canberra without a public library. The real reason was that the rest of the old Griffith Primary School site was being used as lucrative conference spaces, and the government wanted to cash in and use the space occupied by the library in order to make more money.

Narrabundah College Library
This was my school library during the last two years of secondary school, which in the Canberra public school system takes place in separate schools to the four earlier years of high school. There was nothing particularly revolutionary about it - it was a fairly average public school library, with an okay range of books, dial-up internet that crawled slowly, and a couple of librarians who seemed to know the name of every student.

What was special was the library as a space. College was the first time that we, as students, were given free periods (the timetable functioned in such a way that if you took the recommended six subjects per trimester, you ended up with one free period on four out of the five school days). We were allowed to do whatever we wanted during the frees, and I often wound up in the library with a bunch of friends, ostensibly 'studying', but in actual fact playing cards, drawing in our exercise books, reading novels or gossiping. One of my friends once wrote a poem based on snippets of every conversation she'd heard in the library during her free period.

In other words, the library was our space. The social life there moved at a slower and less urgent pace than on the oval, in the quad or cafeteria, where the push and pull of high school politics and diplomacy exerted more force. The library was a space where we could take a break from worrying about the overwhelming drama of our social lives.

Fisher Library, University of Sydney
The first thing I did in the orientation week at uni was take a tour of the library, as I was anxious to know how to use it. I remember walking in and feeling as if I'd died and gone to heaven. I'd never seen so many books in one place.

Back in the dim dark days of 2003, the library had an eight-floor research library (where books could be borrowed for two weeks by undergrads) and a four-floor undergrad library (where loans were only for a week), a bunch of computers (which always had a huge queue - this was in the days before laptops were common on Australian university campuses, and those that were were extremely heavy). There was also a special reserve area, where course coordinators would move set texts for their courses. Books in special reserve could only be used in the library, and only borrowed for a two-hour period, which did a huge amount to ensure equal access. That said, some of my fondest memories of undergrad were engaging in vicious recall wars with fellow students, as we fought to borrow a limited number of set texts. I used to be particularly ruthless about going in at the start of term and borrowing whatever Shakespeare text we would be studying in the various English classes I was taking.

I got to know the contours of Fisher particularly well. I haunted the two or three cases covering medieval Celtic literature, and knew exactly where to find the history books that were relevant to my Jewish Studies course. Whenever I had to do translation for my Medieval Irish class, I'd take the huge Dictionary of the Irish Language down from the shelf and sit near a ground-floor window, furiously trying to figure out how the spelling of Old Irish words might have changed in Middle Irish texts. In other words, Fisher was the library that taught me how to be a student.

In the years since I graduated, Fisher has got rid of most of its books, to the extent that it's impossible to do any form of postgraduate research in the humanities there. This breaks my heart.

Goyder St Community Library
When Griffith Library got closed down, the people of the inner south of Canberra were so incensed that they decided to do something about it. The result was a community library, run by volunteers out of a demountable building on Boomanulla Oval in Narrabundah. I lived in Canberra during the early stages of Goyder St's existence, and through a series of coincidences, got involved.

In 2007, I had moved back to Canberra basically because of a quarter-life crisis panic. In retrospect, it was a terrible decision, causing the depression I'd had on and off since the beginning of my adult life to reach almost intolerable levels. Cut for a little discussion of the effects of depression ) Anyway, somehow, I remembered through the desperate fog of my mind that I had joined a Philip Pullman fansite several years earlier, and logged back on. I was extremely fortunate that the denizens of that site were truly amazing people who gave me the sole reason to get out of bed that year. Every evening I was in chat with the few European night owls, and [livejournal.com profile] lucubratae, who was the only other Australian on the site, and who, serendipitously, lived a short walk away from me in Canberra. Pretty soon, I'd met up with him in person - the first internet friend I'd ever met 'in real life'. And he volunteered at Goyder St. Pretty soon, I'd been roped in.

In those early days, it was chaos. The volunteers had more enthusiasm than technical library know-how. No one knew how to catalogue, internet was erratic, and there were tensions among the different volunteers. Many residents were outraged at the closure of Griffith Library, wanted to do something to help, but had no time to volunteer. Instead, they donated vast numbers of books, often of poor quality, creating a huge backlog of cataloguing work for the volunteers and contributing to the cluttered, claustrophobic atmosphere of the building.

The point is, for one shining moment, enough people were angry enough to come together and do something to make their corner of the world a little bit better. And I was carried along with them. The community library got me out of the house for something other than a job that made me anxious and miserable, and for that I will always be grateful.

English Faculty Library, University of Cambridge
While the main Cambridge University Library is more imposing (it's a copyright library and thus has a copy of every book ever published in the UK, as well as an impressive collection of rare books, maps and manuscripts), the English library had much more of an impact on my life. Not only have I spent the past six years researching there, using its excellent collection of books on Celtic Studies, it's also responsible for my current career as a library assistant. In the first year of my PhD, I decided to take a job at English as a weekend invigilator in order to make a bit of extra cash. I loved it so much, and the assistant librarian and librarian were were such inspirational and helpful mentors that I decided to go into library services, rather than academia, after finishing my PhD.

The librarian in particular is just exemplary. She goes out of her way to make sure that English is exactly the library that its users want. She holds training sessions in referencing and editing software and other research skills. She holds weekly tea-and-biscuits sessions for students, a way for them to take a short break from their studies and relax over a hot drink. There are beanbags in the library for students to sleep on. There are poetry competitions, Easter eggs at Easter, sweets and chocolate during exam term and the week when dissertations are due, annual surveys whose results are collated and then responded to in comprehensive reports addressing the main points raised and explaining what, if any, changes will be made. In other words, it's exactly as an academic library should be: a community where everyone's voice is heard.

I love libraries so much.

Foz Meadows

Mar. 6th, 2012 09:15 pm
dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
Every so often, I'll come across a new blog that is so good, that lines up with my own tastes and beliefs and interests so perfectly that I'll scream its praises to the sky, fling links and quotes about with abandon and generally behave like an excitable toddler hyped up on sugar. 'This is what the internet should be like! It should be like this all the time! And now I'm going to READ ALL THE POSTS! INTERNET! FOREVER!' I shout excitedly when I encounter a blog like this.

Foz Meadows' blog is one such blog. I can't believe I didn't discover it sooner. Hers is one of those voices that has been floating around the same circles I frequent (SF/F and YA online literary communities and commentariat, social justice sites that focus on pop culture), and from time to time, someone I follow has linked to one of her posts. But I never sat down and read her blog (or her books) in any focused kind of way until today.

And what a treasure trove I was missing out on! Here she is on the problems with the current crop of YA dystopian novels:

It’s the Ferris wheel effect: a nostalgia for the present day rooted in being grateful for what we have, rather than in asking where we’re headed. It’s dystopia with the safeties on - and that is, to me, an alarming inversion of how the genre should work. I have nothing against stories being written purely for escapist purposes, but dystopia is not the ideal genre for it. Of course, as in all things, your mileage may vary, in which case you’re wholly entitled to disagree. Yet I’d ask that you ask yourself: what, exactly, is escapist about an uncritical dystopia? While critical protagonists set out to change society, allowing us the fantasy of being world-altering revolutionaries, uncritical protagonists remain wrapped up in themselves, dealing with immediate, personal obstacles rather than tackling their root causes. Such characters can still change the world, of course – or rather, be instrumental in its change – but the difference is one of intention: their rebellion stems from a desire to be left alone, not to combat injustice, and this difference shows in how the story treats them. They are kept safer than their critical counterparts – exposed to action and loss, rather than danger and consequence – because if something sufficiently bad were to happen or be realistically threatened, then their stories would no longer stand as purely escapist fictions: the audience would no longer want to share in their experiences.

To which I say, yes, and yes!

Like me, she's an Australian living in the UK (in fact, she's only a year younger than I am, and her time at Sydney Uni overlapped mine by at least two, and possibly three years, so I'm sure we knew people in common). Like me, she finds being IDed at UK supermarkets annoying.

She writes with eloquence about the frustrations of being a teenager, of not having your voice heard (and although I loved most of high school, her words resonate):

High school students of the world: you are not prisoners. You are not stupid. You have rights. You have opinions. You know what you feel. The rest of us have either forgotten or are in the process of forgetting, because where you are now? It’s about survival. Once you’re out of the jungle, you don’t go wading back in to fight the tigers and tame the lantana. But that’s why those things persist. You get out, and you’re safe, so you forget. You see the little tweaks and changes on the news, and you forget how bad it really was. You grow up. You start to doubt your teenage intelligence. You wonder if it was just because you were seventeen and an idiot that you hated your creepy geography teacher, the one who knocked the girls’ pens off their desks so he could peek down their shirts when they bent over to pick them up, or that you couldn’t find any practical or intellectual application for what you were asked to do, or that nobody would listen to you or had the power to do anything when you told them you were depressed or being bullied.

Her social justice awakening was almost identical to mine:

[W]hat I’m coming to realise is that being white and well-off is like living in a bubble, and that racism – and sexism, and homophobia, and all those other terrible creeds and isms – are like a raging river on which you float, unaffected. And if none of the river’s attendant perils threaten you personally – if you are not really interested in what goes on beneath your feet – then you will never notice the un-bubbled masses dashed against the rocks; or see the snares which threaten so many others; or worry about a shifting sandbank changing the course of the river; or spare a thought for those who drown, unable to fight the current. And even if you inflate your bubble with a spirit of kinship, love and charity, without that further awareness, you will be a lesser person than might otherwise be the case.

Her words about growing (up?) are taken from my mouth, where they lay heavy like stones, and given an eloquence I couldn't possibly manage:

Nobody ever grows up. We just grow. But our language, which betrays so much of culture, suggests otherwise: hierarchies are linear, top to bottom: growing up means growing better. Nobody grows down. And yet up connotes even more than that. It makes us think of a fixed destination when there is none; it makes us want to not only cast off who we were, but disparage it as unnecessary, as though the very notion of ever being someone else is embarrassing, taboo; as though that prior person were utterly unrelated to every single subsequent incarnation.

Hello, new internet hero! Where the hell have you been all my life?

ETA: We also both used to write for the ABC Book Show's blog. Can't believe I didn't remember that!
dolorosa_12: (Anne Rice)
I started reading RiotAct after I moved to Cambridge, mainly because I was desperately homesick, and wanted a site where I could get my daily dose of Australiana - but in a more Canberran form. I can reliably click on any story, and find at least these three predictable remarks:

1. A whine about the ACT Government.
2. A collection (should that be 'a committee'?) of public servants complaining about pay, conditions or the ineptitude of the ministers they're expected to serve.
3. A snide remark about how useless The Canberra Times is as a news source.

On extra special days, you can get a dose of North-South rivalry, some reminiscing about the Good Old Days (evoking Belconnen Interchange, a selection of the more boganish schools, and shops which haven't been in Manuka/Griffith/Narrabundah/Lyneham etc for more than 20 years) and some self-deprecating remarks about roundabouts.

Needless to say, I love it.

But the post today about skip-bin etiquette is the winner in terms of Canberra-in-a-bottleness. Outraged comments to the tone of 'how dare you throw out your old books, clothes, toys and furniture when the Salvos and the Lifeline bookfair are just around the corner', griping about past skip experiences and the inadequacies of the Mitchell tip, and some smug 'on my communist utopia street, everyone just puts their stuff out on the nature strip and neighbours help themselves'.

It reminded me of when Mum, Mim and I moved from Canberra to Sydney, in December 2002. It was one of the hottest summers ever, just before the big bushfires. We had to somehow compress 15 years' worth of stuff from our four-bedroom, one-study, house-with-a-pool existence into what we knew would be a three-bedroom flat size. Luckily, that summer, people were building two hideous McMansions on a rather small block of land down the road. (It was during the decade when all the nice houses on La Perouse Street got replaced with double McMansion monstrosities.) My mother's rather devious solution was to dump everything into their skip.

Because she had some kind of conscience, she would only do this by night, under cover of darkness. It was December in Canberra, which meant that most people had packed up and left for Sydney or the South Coast. But we still didn't want to be caught. Yes, I said we. My mother, much to my embarrassment, dragged me along on all her stealth skip operations. (There is no way in hell you'd have got Mimi to do anything like that.)

On one memorable night, we destroyed an old bookshelf (which had sat in our carport for seven years gathering spiderwebs) with an axe, and then took it, incrementally, to the skip. I was utterly mortified.

'Won't people ask what we're doing?' I asked Mum.

'We'll just say we're taking some planks for a walk,' she replied, in her best breezy-yet-determined tone.
dolorosa_12: (Anne Rice)
I started reading RiotAct after I moved to Cambridge, mainly because I was desperately homesick, and wanted a site where I could get my daily dose of Australiana - but in a more Canberran form. I can reliably click on any story, and find at least these three predictable remarks:

1. A whine about the ACT Government.
2. A collection (should that be 'a committee'?) of public servants complaining about pay, conditions or the ineptitude of the ministers they're expected to serve.
3. A snide remark about how useless The Canberra Times is as a news source.

On extra special days, you can get a dose of North-South rivalry, some reminiscing about the Good Old Days (evoking Belconnen Interchange, a selection of the more boganish schools, and shops which haven't been in Manuka/Griffith/Narrabundah/Lyneham etc for more than 20 years) and some self-deprecating remarks about roundabouts.

Needless to say, I love it.

But the post today about skip-bin etiquette is the winner in terms of Canberra-in-a-bottleness. Outraged comments to the tone of 'how dare you throw out your old books, clothes, toys and furniture when the Salvos and the Lifeline bookfair are just around the corner', griping about past skip experiences and the inadequacies of the Mitchell tip, and some smug 'on my communist utopia street, everyone just puts their stuff out on the nature strip and neighbours help themselves'.

It reminded me of when Mum, Mim and I moved from Canberra to Sydney, in December 2002. It was one of the hottest summers ever, just before the big bushfires. We had to somehow compress 15 years' worth of stuff from our four-bedroom, one-study, house-with-a-pool existence into what we knew would be a three-bedroom flat size. Luckily, that summer, people were building two hideous McMansions on a rather small block of land down the road. (It was during the decade when all the nice houses on La Perouse Street got replaced with double McMansion monstrosities.) My mother's rather devious solution was to dump everything into their skip.

Because she had some kind of conscience, she would only do this by night, under cover of darkness. It was December in Canberra, which meant that most people had packed up and left for Sydney or the South Coast. But we still didn't want to be caught. Yes, I said we. My mother, much to my embarrassment, dragged me along on all her stealth skip operations. (There is no way in hell you'd have got Mimi to do anything like that.)

On one memorable night, we destroyed an old bookshelf (which had sat in our carport for seven years gathering spiderwebs) with an axe, and then took it, incrementally, to the skip. I was utterly mortified.

'Won't people ask what we're doing?' I asked Mum.

'We'll just say we're taking some planks for a walk,' she replied, in her best breezy-yet-determined tone.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
This post has been at the back of my mind for a while, and today, I finally extricated myself from my extreme Watchmen fangirling for long enough to write it.

Wander over here for my thoughts on why the texts we love as children are so much more numerous than the texts we love as adults.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
This post has been at the back of my mind for a while, and today, I finally extricated myself from my extreme Watchmen fangirling for long enough to write it.

Wander over here for my thoughts on why the texts we love as children are so much more numerous than the texts we love as adults.
dolorosa_12: (dr horrible)
This the '25 Random Things' meme. It popped up about three weeks ago on LJ, but I didn't do it because the title annoyed me. With memes like this, nothing is 'random'. People edit themselves online and select 25 things that bolster their persona. After a while, I started to see the meme pop up on Facebook. Still I resisted. But when even John Scalzi is doing it, I figured it was time for me to embrace the bandwagon.

In case you have been hiding under a rock have not seen them yet, here are the instructions:

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. I don't do tagging.

More Ronni than you could ever possibly want )
*These lyrics are wrong. I know.
dolorosa_12: (dr horrible)
This the '25 Random Things' meme. It popped up about three weeks ago on LJ, but I didn't do it because the title annoyed me. With memes like this, nothing is 'random'. People edit themselves online and select 25 things that bolster their persona. After a while, I started to see the meme pop up on Facebook. Still I resisted. But when even John Scalzi is doing it, I figured it was time for me to embrace the bandwagon.

In case you have been hiding under a rock have not seen them yet, here are the instructions:

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. I don't do tagging.

More Ronni than you could ever possibly want )
*These lyrics are wrong. I know.
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
While I was cleaning out the accumulated detritus of the past 23 years, I came upon this gem: my Christmas and birthday lists from 1997 (the year I turned 13). They make me smile and wince at the same time.

My Birthday List
1. Blue tencel jeans.
2. Savage Garden CD.
3. Boxer shorts P.J.s.
4. Poster board for my room.
5. Books.
6. Tamagochi.

My Christmas List:
1. Flares. (I assume I meant super-flared jeans.)
2. Hanson CD (*cringe*)
3. Calendar like the one Lynne gave me last year. (I think this is a 'create a calendar' where you draw your own pictures.)
4. Diary.
5. Books.
6. New Derwents for school.
7. Something from Made In Japan.

Hmmm...
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
While I was cleaning out the accumulated detritus of the past 23 years, I came upon this gem: my Christmas and birthday lists from 1997 (the year I turned 13). They make me smile and wince at the same time.

My Birthday List
1. Blue tencel jeans.
2. Savage Garden CD.
3. Boxer shorts P.J.s.
4. Poster board for my room.
5. Books.
6. Tamagochi.

My Christmas List:
1. Flares. (I assume I meant super-flared jeans.)
2. Hanson CD (*cringe*)
3. Calendar like the one Lynne gave me last year. (I think this is a 'create a calendar' where you draw your own pictures.)
4. Diary.
5. Books.
6. New Derwents for school.
7. Something from Made In Japan.

Hmmm...

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dolorosa_12: (Default)
rushes into my heart and my skull

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