st_aurafina: Dale Cooper at the table with coffee and a donut (Twin Peaks: Dale with coffee)
So cold this morning. For values of cold in Australia, which is to say there's frost on the grass and I have my giant scarf on. I am having crappy, crappy low moods but weirdly and ferociously creative times. It is strange and I don't understand the rhythms of it at all. I feel like the world is being sucked into a black hole, and yet I cannot stop writing POI fic.

Five things about winter Saturdays in rural Australia:
- Frosty, foggy mornings that will become clear and sunny by twelve
- The footy scoreboard shining orange through the fog as the under-twelves play the 8am match
- Teenage girls in netball skirts with goosepimpled legs, poor things
- People leaving their shoes at the front door so they don't track mud through the pharmacy
- Farmers all hollow-eyed from helping calves into the world, eating hot pies for breakfast

I want to say some things about media I've been enjoying but I keep procrastinating because I don't have the time to write long and involved things. So, here are some short thinkings on things:


Five things about Wonder Woman
Not very spoilery but I wouldn't want to ruin anyone's joy )


Five things about Legion
Not too spoilery. Defs not addressing the big spoilers, anyway. )


Five things about Twin Peaks
I have seen episode five, so assume spoilers for up to there )


Five Things to Do
- Via [personal profile] leecetheartist, a zooniverse project based in Western Australia: Western Shield Camera Watch. Their description: Western Shield is a government funded conservation project that is dedicated to managing introduced predators, primarily foxes and cats, that threaten native wildlife in Western Australia.
This is a very gentle and calming kind of thing to do, I enjoy it a lot. You get to identify kangaroos and emus and all sorts of weird little hopping things. You could also identify this murderous looking bird:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
[A giant, yellow eyed bird, going at the lens of a camera with an angry beak]

- [personal profile] anandrine is talking about communities on Dreamwidth: active comms, comms you'd like to see become more active. let's talk communities

- read this Beatles zombie AU webcomic: Eleanor Rigby
(when i was very small i assumed this song was about some lady who literally kept a human face in a jar by the door and since father mckenzie buried her that meant that he also killed her and basically i thought eleanor rigby was about zombies until i was like 12 years old)

- Check out this new prompt comm, [community profile] picture_prompt_fun, write a story for a picture prompt.

- sign-up for [community profile] multifandomdrabble, and write someone 100 words. I did this last year, when it was being trialled at Imzy, and it was fun! More details here.


Five Linkspams to make your day a little better
- This woman's joyful reaction at a woman proposing to her girlfriend at a museum: No One Can Get Over This Older Lady's Reaction To A Woman Proposing To Her Girlfriend (This gave me life at a time when I was feeling very bitter at yet another friend's marriage where they did not do anything about the hateful 'Man and woman' clause of the marriage act that must be read out at a wedding in Australia. Like this: Objectors block out Marriage Act's 'union of man and woman' words at civil weddings.)

- The Grenfell Tower fire is a horrible, terrifying tragedy. I am buoyed by the stories of how people have helped, how emergency workers have been amazing. (Like Mr Rogers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.) Today in my email, I saw this about pharmacists dealing with the logistics of people losing all their medication and prescriptions and records: Pharmacists in West London have been working to help people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

- Remember Tommy Westphall and the snowglobe phenomenon? Check in with it again here: The Tommy Westphall Universe. Apparently reboots have really kicked the database into overdrive this year. I saw a pack of Morley cigarettes on Twin Peaks, which means the Twin Peaks verse doesn't exist. No surprises there, though.

- Knitting spies!! The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool

- From some of my Person of Interest research: The 10 Best Bottles of Vodka in the World. Linked because the tasting notes are even more amazing and wanky than wine tasting notes. For example: Soft and laser-precise on the palate with a seamless balance and great length of flavor.

Now I want vodka. But it is illegal for me to drink vodka and be a health professional. So cruel.

Son of ETA: As people have asked, yes, I am legally forbidden to drink vodka only while I am at work being a health professional. After work, I may freely engage in the drinking of vodka, and indeed, many other spirits.
st_aurafina: Sam Wilson in his Falcon suit (Marvel: Falcon)
Today I very much feel like the world is a terrible place, and people are always going to be hurting other people, and I just want to lie down on the grass and pretend to be a tree.

But it's raining.

([personal profile] lilacsigil: Trees don't lie on the grass.
Me: Dead trees do.)


Cheerful things:

1. GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF IS BACK

[Mary Berry's elation at the mention of gin.]

My life is made whole again. And wow, 9 million viewers for the first episode, yay.

2. Captain America NaNo rewrite is in the middle of a Howard POV bit, a WWII flashback. I really like this fic. I like writing it, and I like editing it, and I need to hurry up so I can get to my favourite bits. And I need to get it posted before it gets jossed by a third MCU movie. (This fic has JARVIS in it, and old Agents of SHIELD before shit went down, and apparently there's a scene with 80's Peggy Carter in Ant Man and she doesn't have the steel bob I imagined her with in this fic so i probably need to check this out.)

3. [etsy.com profile] weelittlestitches put out an X-Files pattern.

[Mulder and Scully, cross-stitched figures. Text says 'The truth is out there']

4. Whale season! At our local beach, we've had Southern Right whales, porpoises, dolphins, and seals. And a pod of orca - I didn't know we even had orca down here. There's seals lazing outside the surf lifesaving club right now.

Further afield, back in July there was a Migaloo sighting: Rare white humpback whale spotted in Cook Strait

5. Spoilers for Agent Carter )

6. Hats for dogs! Hats with ear holes for dogs! By [ravelry.com profile] jessie-plaskett.

[The noble Golden Retriever, in a pink and white striped beannie with plaited ties.]

7. This terri-bad movie is finally coming out:

It was shot in Warrnambool, and it mostly seems to be fart jokes and it looks so amazingly cliched and bad. But Warrnambool is all WE'RE IN A MOVIE COME TOURISTS COME LEAVE YOUR LOVELY TOURIST DOLLARS HERE! I don't know. There are Maremma dogs guarding the penguins, that's true. I'm just all cringe-amazed by the trailer. It's so Strayan. Onya, mate.
st_aurafina: Natasha Romanova, looking down, against a rainbow background (Marvel: Natasha)
Hi new people! I'm excited to see my flist all plumped up like a happy chicken.

I'm a bit scarce at the moment as I try desperately to get through NaNo. Still 3K behind! But was 5K behind! NEVER SURRENDER! MORE FLASHBACKS!!

I still wanted to say hi, and welcome, and to point you to a couple of 'about me' posts that may be helpful:

About Me from 2009, and which I should update a little. Now, sadly, we only have two cats, and we no longer live on a street with alpacas. But we do live on a street with PONIES. It's awesome.

Where I Live, from last year's December meme. Still basically current, except on the locavore part, because this year we scored a saffron farm and (this one is awesome) a producer of escargot. There's snails in them thar hills.



Please allow me to offload linkspam before I die of tabs:

iO9's Top 100 Star Trek episodes. I didn't agree with all of them, but I did have a hell of a lot of fun reading through.


From the classier end of Facebook (that would be the fandom end!) 'Ozten': Pride and Prejudice for Australians
ELIZABETH (about Mr Collins): But he DRIVES A FORD and wears SOCKS WITH SANDALS.


I want a comicbook about these women. I want TV about these women: Meet the 4 Women Who Will Join the FDNY This Year. I am all about the competence porn in this article, and also about big strong women being heroes and saving lives.


The Powers trailer, via iO9 - this looks like it's actually going to be good. I am surprised! I wasn't sure what to make of a show coming out of PlayStation, I guess, but the casting for Deena is awesome, and Imdb says there's going to be Eddie Izzard, Michelle Forbes, and Noah Taylor. That is a kick-ass bunch of people.


American Horror Story’s Mat Fraser won’t star in your “inspiration porn” - I found this a really interesting interview, with lots of stuff about representation in media, and the interaction between actors and writers.



I think that's enough procrastination for now. ONWARD TO VICTORY! VICTORY THROUGH FLASHBACKS!
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
Oh, lordy, tonight's X-Files rewatch is 'The Field Where I Died'. It's, like, 75% a good episode, and 25% stubbing your toe repeatedly against a brick wall. Mulder's past life regression hypnosis scene is so painful and embarrassing I had to stick my fingers in my ears.



Gosh, when you miss a week, the recipes actually pile up.

Something I cooked recently:

Mango Cream Cheese Ice-Cream, based off this: Strawberry Ice-Cream

This was the actual recipe:
3 mangoes, which gives about 2.5 cups of pulp
2 blocks of cream cheese
3/4 cup of sugar (I'm still playing around with the quantities, and I think I could have used less.)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1.5 cups of skim milk
A good squeeze of lemon juice


Blend the mango pulp. Add all the other ingredients. Blend more. Freeze in machine. I use the kitchenaid ice-cream maker attachment, and this pretty much perfectly fitted in the bowl. It made about 1.5 litres of ice-cream. And it's super, super tasty. I wasn't sure that the vanilla was a good idea, but it really was.

I'm always surprised at how little cream cheese taste this recipe has - it really doesn't taste like cheesecake to me. And my particular lactose intolerance handles this recipe a lot more gracefully than ice-cream made with cream or custard.


Coffee Jelly Or Jello, if you prefer.

I love this - it's an extremely dignified way to absorb caffeine on a really hot day. We ate it with a really nice vanilla yoghurt.



Zucchini Herb Bread

This is a bread machine recipe, and I don't have a bread machine so I make it by hand.

Adapted recipe )


Zucchini Sheet Cake

I found out, with a giant bowl of cake batter, that not only have I never made a sheet cake before, I didn't have anything to bake a sheet cake in. (For other Aussies, they're 13 x 18.5 inches, 2 inches deep.) So, I improvised and split the batter between two roasting pans, and it worked out okay.

So, I guess I made a cake, of sorts? It wasn't a real cake, though, it had a very unusual fudgy texture, thanks to the shredded zucchini. I wanted to try a different kind of icing/frosting, since [personal profile] lilacsigil hates buttercream and ganache is out because the cream is not good for me. I like this boiled milk icing in this recipe - it tasted good, and it's extremely convenient to be able to pour it on the hot cake. Will definitely try it again, especially as there is an avalanche of zucchini coming for us.


Something I have solid plans to cook soon:

Kindkit's Four Grain No-Knead Bread

I love no-knead bread cooked in a cast-iron pot! I don't have any rye flour, though, and the supermarket doesn't stock it. I'll try the health food shop in Warrnambool next week, but if I can't wait, I'll just tinker. Maybe substitute wholemeal wheat? Or I've got some spelt.


Baked Zucchini Chips

A ha ha, there are so many zucchinis coming. So very many. I don't have a mandolin - they scare me so much! - but I'm hoping I can cut these fine enough with the chef's knife. (It scares me less.)



Something I'm idly thinking about cooking in the future:

A real cake. One that you cream butter and sugar, add flour, etc. And don't over/under bake. Our plumber dropped by with a bag of plums, so maybe a plum cake? Maybe Gâteau aux Prunes? I have all the ingredients.


Work on a granola bar recipe. I've got a bunch bookmarked, here, and I'm hoping to hit the goldilocks zone of chewy but not gooey, toothy but not crumbly.


Oh, and this actual recipe that a customer gave me today. She wrote it down on the bottom of her prescription. It's for an apple slice. (For those who've heard me talk about my customers before, this is Mrs Lemon. She's a boss.

See actual recipe here! It's large, because you need to see the hand writing. )


Now we're watching the Canadian broadcast of the pairs figure skating short routine. One of the Canadian skaters looks an awful lot like Natale Morales, which has given me a Middleman plotbunny that is not an ice-skating AU so much as it is an ice-skating case fic. *makes note to include the German team's giant cow bell*


Think of us tomorrow. It's going to be a billion degrees. We will surely dry.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
I would love to hear about the part of Australia where you live, if that doesn't feel too RL-revelatory. ([personal profile] kass)

Answered with pictures )
st_aurafina: (Labyrinth: just a worm)
1. It's still raining, which, yes, is good, but it's starting to get marshy on the lawn, and on Sunday it was so windy that we decided not to put the smallest rubbish bin out for collection. It's the regular bin, which is only ever half full, and I just didn't want to have to pick up rubbish from the front lawn. The rubbish is bagged, but we have these ferocious, problem-solving, tool-using crows and a black plastic bag doesn't stand a chance against those bastards.

The upside is that it's been really cold, which means lots of huddling under the blankets, draped in cats, and drinking Milo. Milo is an Aussie staple - hot malted chocolate drink a bit like Ovaltine. [personal profile] lilacsigil has a knack with making it nice and foamy. She doesn't even need much milk - she uses hot water. This is amazing, and anyone who has ever had Milo on school camp will understand.

I have an awesome mug right now:
It's too rude for work )


2. You know those movies, where a drum of toxic waste washes up on the beach, and then giant ants swarm the town? Or whatever?

I watched this movie at a formative age:
I, for one, welcome our giant ant overlords )

Well, yesterday every siren in town went off, for something listed on the Country Fire Authority website as "Hazmat Incident". This morning, we learn that a 44-gallon drum washed up on the beach, oozing a mysterious foul-smelling substance.

When we heard the sirens, I texted my local gossip hub - that person in town who always knows what's going on - to ask if we should evacuate. She said "No, I don't think so. They only sent the small fire truck."

It was all very Night Vale, now I'm thinking of it.


3. Speaking of which: Night Vale Live Shows! How awesome would that be?


4. More mundanely, I put away the clean laundry I've had stashed in a basket for two weeks. Now I don't have to start my mornings by mining for socks.


5. The greengrocer had blood oranges! They're not quite ripe yet, but I bought a bunch so hopefully they'll keep stocking them. I guess I could make a granita or something? They're lovely but still a bit tart to eat as is.
st_aurafina: Kalinda from The Good Wife, in a red suit (The Good Wife: Kalinda)
My finger is healing! I'm trying to keep it dry. It's very strange and oddly clinical to shower with a glove on. Having a bandage on is an interesting experience for socially awkward me - it's kind of nice to have something to talk about, actually.


Apparently LJ has an AMAZING new bug where one user might be able to view the locked and private posts of another. Eep. unfunny business has a round up.

(I have two Dreamwidth codes, by the way, if anyone would like one.)


I'm calling the back yard renovation "Project Wasteland." It's a YA dystopian landscape out there. The crows have moved in; the back yard is filled with portent. We have currawongs, they're too fucking smart. They're way smarter than me. They watch me through the glass sometimes.

cut for latest update photo also random parrots )

And also, in what has obviously become a wildlife journal, there's a family of ducks living on the lawn out the back of the shop. There's a creek nearby, I assume that's their base of operations? We didn't get to see the fuzzy duckling stage, but the awkward leggy teenage duckling stage is also adorable. They graze in the grass in the morning, then take a nap under the picnic table in the afternoon. Watching them is the perfect balm for stress in the workplace. I should pay them a stipend in grubs or bread crusts.

Thoughts on this week's The Good Wife )

This show makes some clanging errors sometimes, and the storylines are often really ham-fisted, but I will always forgive it for the dynamics between the female characters.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Country girl)
Dreamwidth has activated the cross posting function, hooray! I can post to LJ from here. This is very exciting.

I don't think I've ever done one of those introduction type posts. And I guess this is a good place to answer any questions you've ever wanted to ask me, if there are any.

1. The geographical part: I'm an Aussie, and I'm discovering more and more that I'm a patriotic Australian. I'm the eldest of four - we go sister, sister, brother over the span of five years, then another NINETEEN years until my baby sister was born. I'm a first generation Australian - my dad came over from Italy when he was four. I don't speak Italian, but I wish I did. I live in Victoria, the wedge-shaped state in the bottom right quadrant of the mainland. I live at the fat edge of the wedge, in a tiny country town with a population of less than 1000. It gets a bit feral out here.

2. The personal part: I have a life partner, [personal profile] lilacsigil. Legally we can't get married. We've talked about it, and though I don't know if we would, we'd both like to have the choice. I met [personal profile] lilacsigil at a role-playing convention. (For the vintage Victorians, it was Conquest '94. Good times!)

3. The professional part: I'm a pharmacist, this makes me cautious with my identity - I don't share details of my personal or professional life much online. I've been a pharmacist for thirteen years. (Thirteen years? Wow.) I also have a Bachelor of Science degree. My life was going to be one of academic pursuits, huddled inside a lab, making bold discoveries in the field of endocrinology, until I discovered, in my honours year, that I actually loathe research.

4. The fannish part: I've always been a fan, but [personal profile] lilacsigil hooked me up with fandom. (Critical statements include: "Read my fanfiction about Henry McCoy", "Do you know, some people on the internet think Remus and Sirius are lovers" and "There's this thing called Livejournal".) Famdoms I've dabbled in include X-Men, Daredevil, Harry Potter, House MD, Doctor Who, Hellblazer, Lord John Grey, Narnia, Bones, Middleman. A few other bits and bobs here and there. I'm just starting to get into manga.

5. The TMI part: I have a pretty hefty dose of social phobia. I'm exploring the possibility that I'm somewhere on the autism spectrum. I'm trying to be more aware of my privilege as a middle class, educated white woman, especially living in a part of the country with strange racial dynamics that I know I don't have a handle on. I can put my foot in my mouth in spectacularly stupid ways, and I'd like to apologise if I've ever done that. Please, call me on my mistakes. I would like to know where I've wrong-footed myself.

6. The journal part: It's perpetually defriending amnesty day, here; I do not take offence if you decide we've drifted apart fannishly. On the other hand, I really enjoy reading the journals of people from the fandoms I'm not so involved in anymore. I may not always subscribe to your OTP, but I will respect you and enjoy your passion for the fandom alongside you. My journal is a body-positive place, not a place to discuss weight loss or body-hatred.

7. Cats. Three of them! I quite like dogs, but I'm owned by cats. Aeon, Baggins, Chewbacca, our darlings.

*ponders* I think I've covered everything? Yeah.
st_aurafina: Platypus headshot (Platypus)
My town is beseiged by a flock of corellas, which are a kind of evil, feral parrot. Possibly undead, I don't know. They look undead.

This is a corella, for those of you lucky enough to live somewhere that corellas aren't:
Photobucket

The more I look at it, the more certain I am that it's some kind of zombie-bird.

One corella makes a noise that sounds like "KRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!". We have maybe two hundred circling the town at sunrise and sunset. The sunset serenade of KRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! x 200 isn't so bad. But KRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! x 200 just as the sun is peeping out is eating away at my sanity as surely as if the zombie birds were pecking at my actual brain. Every morning. Even on Sunday, because feral undead parrots respect no day of rest.

So, music memes, hey?

1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List upload 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.


So, [livejournal.com profile] ion_bond gave me a letter. And I thought that letter was R, but now that I go to check the actual post, I see that it was N. You would think that one would check that before one did the actual uploading, but that would require that one was not such a ninny.

R

You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan... )
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Twilight: Cullens lunch)
Wow, you guys are so busy in LJ world, I can barely keep up with my flist. Every time I skip 20, I find myself looking at the same page, because there's been 20 posts in the time it took me to read 20 posts.

My Yuletide fic is done and betaed once. Now I'm looking for a fandom-specific beta which is proving a little problematic. But the fic is done and I think it's not going to need huge plot shifts or anything. And on the plus side, my search for a beta made me brave the #yuletide IRC chat room, which was a much less scary process than I thought it would be. It didn't net me a beta, but it was a positive experience.

And I still can't let go of NaNo. Now that I'm free of the time limit, I'm cheerfully writing the great and epic love story of Edgar (gay Edwardian accountant) and Louis (hopeful gold prospecter from Canton, angry about his vampire existence). It is great and epic. And look at this: yet another story from our local paper, about a Warrnambool man killed in WWI, whose father sailed from Canton in the 1850s to prospect for gold. Same time, same place as Louis! I did my research, and so far, it's holding up. I really like the way it all slots together.

We're going to see Twilight on Monday. It's our only window of opportunity before school breaks up, and we have hordes of teenagers to contend with. We had this problem with the Harry Potter films - their release almost always coincided with a lot of teachers scratching their heads and wondering what they can do for the last week of school, and deciding that going to the movies is a good and relevant thing. I'm quite excited. I want to read reviews without fear of spoilers. [livejournal.com profile] lilacsigil has been happily spoilered, and sits next to me chortling and chuckling while she reads reviews, and I'm jealous. But I will keep my mind pure and unspoiled. Like Edward. And my enjoyment will completely overwhelm the fear I have of the looming dental appointment the next day. Yes. It will.

This reminds me of a thing I saw while cruising around Twilight comms:

Hey, Sorry to be a post hog but how do you guys say Carlisle?
I think its Car-lizle...- I know its wierd but that's just how it turned out when I read it.
And my friend said it was Carl-ise so the second L was silent...


In our house, Carlisle (who is my favourite character) is forever known as Car-lizle. It's so badass.

*sighs* This post is brought to you largely by PMT-related lack of concentration.

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st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
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