Jan. 27th, 2009 04:31 pm
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I just got a short letter from my Grandma. *beams* The Year of Keeping in Contact is working beautifully.
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The "I'm a Mac" ads have jumped the Atlantic. Check out the UK versions. The first two are the best, in my opinion. (P.S. I've seen the Mac stark bollocking naked. Strange, but true.)

The sister-in-law's home today, too. Luckily for me, I have the cheap foam earplugs that S & I got at the Somebody Gypsies Counterfeit Gypsies' gig, and a pair of cheap computer stereo headphones to put over the top to complete blocking out her music with mine. It is an unfortunate fact that both S and her sister like playing a few select songs on repeat, while I cannot stand hearing songs too frequently or for too long a duration. Combine with that (what I consider to be) her abysmal taste in music, and you have lots and lots of unfun coming my way. And, dammit, today I want to use the computer, which means somehow putting up with her music. I choose blocked ear passages.

I tell you what, though. Between the kinesiologist telling me I need to let my creativity out, and Jess giving us each a booklet of writing prompts, and my old friend Issy calling out of the blue and inviting me to a writing group she's running (working through Julia wossnameCameron's The Artist's Way), it certainly feels like Someone (or several Someones) conspiring to Tell Me Something.

Oh, and S & I have taken to a new "vegan" food - nutritional yeast. We started with powdery stuff (the organic shop's assistant hadn't heard of nutritional yeast, which rather made me question how long she'd been working in such a shop), then the parents-in-law found the flakes the next weekend. My current favourite breakfast thing is toast with American mustard and yeast flakes on top. The flakes might look – and smell – a bit like fishfood, but I think it's tasty.

Chalk that up as one more odd food I'd never have tried without this wacky veganism thing.
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I wrote this for my family's Christmas newsletter, and thought I might as well reproduce it here.

The Christmas pudding was fine, by the way, if you're interested. It was only a little singed, and went down a treat.

Read more... )


Nov. 26th, 2006 09:55 pm
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O.E. ham "dwelling, house, estate, village," from P.Gmc. *khaim- (cf. O.Fris. hem "home, village," O.N. heimr "residence, world," heima "home," Ger. heim "home," Goth. haims "village"), from PIE base *kei- "to lie, settle down" (cf. Gk. kome, Lith. kaimas "village;" O.C.S. semija "domestic servants").

I get a lot of things at home. I get a roof over my head, food in the pantry and fridge, love and cuddles from my spouse. But the one thing I really don't get is silence. I miss this.

S–– and I end up going to bed one to two hours earlier at my parents' place, and this is due to the fact that at about 7.30 or so, everyone goes to their own rooms and entertains themselves, usually with a book. Here, it's noise from the TV down in the bottom room that is put up stupidly loud – understandable, if annoying, since both parents were in the military and did bomb disposal and other things of that kidney. S––'s dad is 20% deaf in one ear. S––'s mum has some hearing damage, too. This rules out spending some time in the front part of the house – the only place to sit and read is the combined sitting and dining room, but this is right next to the bottom room, and you can hear everything on the Idiot Box. The only other room is the parents' bedroom, and that's not appropriate, and probably wouldn't be much quieter.

Upstairs is The Monster, and since there's only our bedroom door between us and her, we can generally hear the obnoxious, loud and sexist music she has on endless repeat (I wish I were joking. For weeks at a time, she'll only play about five or six songs). This also rules out our study/sitting room, which occupies a small alcove next to and under the stairs. I've been sitting there when Monster has been upstairs, and usually have a headache within minutes. And now she's on holiday, she'll be up there, with her repetitive, chauvinistic music for easily ten hours straight. Unless she breaks to watch endless reruns of Friends or Will and Grace on cable in the bottom room. This also rules out the "shared" sitting room upstairs, which Monster has claimed as her own, and which forms her base of operations.

I have been fantasising about something for the past while. I'd forgotten it while the Monster was away (I missed the comparative quiet of the house within minutes of the homecoming, not to mention the annexing of the upstairs sitting room again), but now she's back in Princess Bitchface mode, I have revived and strengthened my resolve.

I am going to go to Bunnings (the local hardware store), and I am going to buy a couple of Items. It used to just be earmuffs, the sort you use when using power tools, but I no longer think this would be enough. I am now also going to invest in earplugs. S–– warns me these will be expensive, and I haven't exactly got a job on the horizon, but I am prepared to put aside some of my savings for this. It will improve my quality of life immeasurably.

I will wear both of these things together, whenever I have to deal with any of the areas of the house that the Monster has claimed – I enjoy the sitting room, especially since its recent outfitting – including our study, which she has claimed through extension with her noise, though she use it, except to stand on our stuff to "reboot" the wireless wossname. In fact, I may use them in all engagements with the Monster. I have tried endless love and respect, regardless of behaviour, but this does not work. This way I will hopefully be immune from her nastiness, which is the eternal drip of poison on my rocky, patient steadfastness.
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So far, the count is the brown felt cloche I bought in Lakes Entrance, the posh skirt Steph bought for me in a boutique in the city, several of our CDs, our bowl of hairpins and probably loads of other stuff. The thing is that she never asks, she rarely returns things, and is very rarely actually nice to us. As both of us have said to each other repeatedly, it'd be different if my little sister borrowed things – at least she treats us like real human beings, and has conversations and things (and as S has just remarked, respects our property. V treats us as if our stuff is just being conveniently stored in our room for her).

So V's boyfriend has just been playing my xbox for the last couple of hours. Of course, they haven't asked. And if V catches us using her Playstation to play a DVD, she cracks it. Her standards don't go both ways. And apparently, leaving my xbox connected to the TV in the living room we're supposed to share with her (but in reality aren't allowed in to) constitutes "leaving it out". Whatever.


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