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Nicole
04 January 2010 @ 01:44 am
Ten years of being able to eat toast with vegemite and nuttelex, without fear of crumbs, cancer or excessive Australianness, whenever I want.
 
 
Nicole
How many of you were aware that this man



actually died some years ago, in a tragic gasoline fight accident?

 
 
Nicole
Presenting

Banksy's Angel of the North, from the Banksy Versus Bristol Museum exhibition

banksy,angel of the north,jimmy carr

Courtesy of Jimmy Carr, the biggest face in show business.
 
 
Nicole
27 June 2009 @ 01:48 am
Let me take you on a little journey I went on this evening.

Step 1. I rewatched Kung Fu Hustle. I love that movie. It's the first (and possibly only) Chinese slapstick comedy that hasn't made me want to punch myself repeatedly in the neck.

Step 2. I wonder what Stephen Chow's up to?

Step 3. Oh, my. He's in a remake of The Green Hornet, an old radio serial I love dearly, about a masked superhero whose powers are limited to a car, a gun and a the original martial arts valet, Kato. Bruce Lee's shoes will be hard to fill.

Step 4. The Green Hornet is being played by Seth bloody Rogen.

Step 5. It's being directed by Michel goddamn Gondry.

Step 6: Cannot process: Integer divided by zero.
 
 
Nicole
26 June 2009 @ 01:00 pm
As DJ pointed out, there's no point whinging about the gentle demise of Livejournal if you never post anything.

So, I'm posting Esther's recipe for Benalla Side Salad, something she probably learned during her recent enforced stay there.

Benalla Side Salad

Ingredients

Canned pineapple
Canned corn niblets in large can
Over-cooked shell-pasta
Finely grated carrot
No more than two actual lettuce leaves
1 large slice of canned beetroot
1 cup of extra creamy mayonnaise
1-2 tomato wedges
8 Coon cheese cubes
Diced Spam/ham

Preparation time: 4 days.

1. Microwave pineapple, corn niblets, the two lettuce leaves and shell pasta on high for 3 min; reserve corn niblet juice in can.
2. Desicate the grated carrot under a commercial grade hand dryer for 10 minutes.
3. Add pineapple, corn niblets, pasta, dessicated carrot, tomato, lettuce and Coon cheese cubes to the reserved corn niblets juice in can. Marinate in the fridge for 3 days.
4. Drain contents thoroughly, gently set the two lettuce leaves aside.
5. Place ingredients in small fancy glass bowl or one of those small plastic hospital bowls.
6. If customer has ordered the salad as a vegetarian option, add the diced spam/ham.
7. Cover ingredients with mayonnaise, taking care to hide the spam/ham.
8. Garnish with the two lettuce leaves and slice of beetroot.
9. Refrigerate further for 1 day and serve.

Enjoy!
 
 
 
Nicole
20 May 2009 @ 12:23 pm
Last week, Greg and I drove up to our property in Clonbinane, between Whittlesea and Wallan. Peter and I last went up there about a year ago, after an absence of about fifteen years. We used to go up nearly every weekend as a family, to muck about with fires and sticks and getting covered in burrs along the creek. We had grand plans to build a house, but then our mother got bitten by a tick and somehow she just never found the time to go back. Over the intervening years, the whole property was taken over by a woody shrub, which someone identified for us as Kunzea ericoides, variously known as burgan, kanuka or white tea-tree. We referred to it as 'that horrible stuff'. It gradually muscled out the trees, even the bracken, until the whole place was just a sea of evil pointy branches waiting to smack you in the face.

It all looked very different last week.



photosCollapse )
 
 
Nicole
07 March 2009 @ 12:42 am
8:57pm: Nicole fails entirely to notice yet another earthquake.

You say what happened now? Naaah.
 
 
Nicole
04 January 2009 @ 04:21 pm
How could I possibly argue with these randomly generated resolutions? Magnificent.

In 2009, matcha_pocky resolves to...
Overcome my secret fear of doing things.
Cut down to ten suffering fools a day.
Apply for a new stuff.
Give some webtests to charity.
Volunteer to spend time with chewy meringues.
Cut down on my relaxing.
Get your own New Year's Resolutions:
 
 
Nicole
15 November 2008 @ 05:36 pm
Graffiti snails roaming London

 
 
Current Mood: My work here is done.
 
 
Nicole
13 November 2008 @ 11:34 pm
"The Contraction of Space/Time and the Dilation of the Narrow Circle"

--Subheading in a journal paper about blogs. I kid you not.
 
 
 
Nicole
30 August 2008 @ 10:58 pm
I haven't seen anything drifting about my friends list about this, so I thought I'd take the opportunity. Obviously, there's at least one major media outlet which hasn't said anything about this.

550 job cuts were announced on Tuesday at The Age, including a large number of high-profile journalists. The first to go was editor Andrew Jaspan. On Thursday afternoon, the rest of the staff staged a revolt and picket lines went up. Strike breakers and non-union staff were at the ready.

Fairfax has been pushing the paper to do more advertorial content. By all accounts Jaspan, as an editor, is somewhat unable to find his way out of a paper bag with both hands and a mixed metaphor, but he nevertheless refused. Now he finds himself and a large chunk of his staff in the Centrelink queue.

While this might seem at first to be an issue of strikes and unions and pickets, at its heart it's a question of news. Is it your right to have good news? News that is relatively unbiased, acceptably impartial and approximately objective? Fairfax is a company, whose aim is to make money; news doesn't necessarily make money. Ads make money.

The bottom line is this: If you normally read The Age - online or in paper format - this might be a good weekend to give it a miss. Conspicuously buy something else. Head to the ABC instead. Nothing hurts a company like a good crack to the wallet. Melbournians are known for their fierce defense of their public amenities, and I know I personally can't bear to let The Age go down without a fight.
 
 
Nicole
26 May 2008 @ 01:15 am
Gosh, I love Weezer. Most fun I've had in three minutes and eighteen seconds in ages.

 
 
Nicole
16 April 2008 @ 10:39 am
So I'm eyeing a master's degree. In particular, I'm eyeing the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at unimelb. I know there are probably easier ways to waste my time and money and still end up in the same place, but really, I have all the direction of a compass in a magnetic storm and maybe this will point me towards something more specific than "I don't know, I quite like doing everything, really, maybe writing of some kind?"

For this, I would like to ask you, my dearest peanut gallery, for some assistance.

Thing one: I need to submit 3000 words of folio, each individually polished to a mirror-like shine. If there's anything I've written on this blague, or my previous incarnation niki_chan, that's particularly stuck with you as a bit of writing, I'd like to know about it.

Thing two: I'll be putting together a writing filter where I post some of the bits I'm thinking of including, for feedback and dissection and so forth. If you'd like to be on it, leave me a comment. If you're not feeling livejournalley, there's an email version going out also. Feel free to come in late or change your mind at any point.

Thing three: If anyone needs or knows of anyone who needs an editor, I'd appreciate any cheap'n'dirty opportunities to kluge some editing/publishing experience into my resume. I have plenty of web experience but no print media. If you need your PhD introduction edited, for example, that's instantly 'freelance editing'. If your eccentric aunt needs a circular done for her organic vegetable co-op, I can wrangle those little Microsoft clip-art guys with the best of them.

I'm screening comments, because, well, I feel like it.
 
 
Nicole
19 March 2008 @ 05:37 pm
So I spent a large chunk of last week in Tasmania, ostensibly bicycling round the west coast. Peter was in town, and the experience was appropriately wacky. I don't know what possessed me to think I could haul my generous posterior around anywhere on a bike, much less up and down the "it's just a small hill"s of Tassie.

We were molested by bumblebees, camped in a variety of different types of mud, had lunch in a dry riverbed, witnessed the world's largest collection of carved pelicans, stole some apples and mooned many, many people while changing in and out of bike gear. I managed to (carefully, conscientiously) lock the keys in the car, which meant I missed the Lake St Clair walk, but the ranger regaled me with stories of recovering the corpses of lost hikers and the difficulty of trapping feral cats while we waited for the break-in kit to arrive.

I drove the rider-support vehicle more than I rode, but I think I racked up 45k or so, only ten of which were spent walking my bike up a tiny, small, miniscule, not-to-worry cloud-covered mountain. The plus side was that I got to see a furry caterpillar, a hopping mouse thing and a dead baby bat being eaten by wasps. The minus side was that by the time I got to the top I'd pretty much already been dead for forty minutes and rigor mortis was setting in. And the wasps were looking hungry.

The best part about riding is the food. When you're riding, you can eat whatever crap you like. Esther handed me a bag of cashews, saying I need salt. Peter introduced me to pickled onion and salami crackers. Chocolate and dried fruit and fudge and lollies take on a dietary-supplement shine, and dinner is enormous piles of pasta and bread and meat. You get to eat all the junkiest food with a glowing halo of self-righteousness. It's lovely.

My riding for the weekend ended when I drove the car into a knee-deep pothole and my bike crashed down off the roof-rack. Peter and James and the guy who wandered over from the next campsite managed to get it into ridable shape, and for a while there I had a new and exciting ninth gear that hadn't previously existed, but I figure mobius wheels aren't a long-term solution. Hard earned cash goes once more to Brunswick Street Cycles.

I've put some photos on my flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureskew/

I don't think bike holidaying is for me. I like to stop and smell the flowers, and when your feet are carrying you from town to town, you don't really have time. It's up at 7am, pack down tent, swallow food, race off for three hours, eat lunch, ride some more, collapse, put up tent, eat dinner, play half a game of scrabble and then zonk out. All the worrying about flat tire fixing equipment and water supply and sunburn prevention and who packed the spoke-wrench underneath the tent. I believe a holiday should include less... what to call it... obligation?
 
 
Nicole
25 February 2008 @ 05:09 pm
I just turned away a nice scottish girl with a clipboard who knocked on my front door with a request that I help Save The Children. I really had to convince her to leave. She got quite upset, I think.

I suffer a lot from looking like an easy mark. I have to put on my death-face or pretend to be on the phone to avoid getting hassled for change. Clipboarders make beelines for me. I have this cute pink cherubic face and multicoloured hair and I just look like I have a social consicence. It's all a lie, though. I am in fact a mean lady.

I always turn down people who knock on my door. Regardless. I don't think I've ever agreed to anything shilled over my front threshold beyond the occasional handful of shrapnel. I give them a variety of reasons - not interested, already have whatever you're selling, I give over the internet. I'm also very hard to clipboard in the street - I might sign your petition, but the only people who ever suckered me in to signing up on the street were Amnesty International, and only then because I'd been planning to join anyway. The closest anyone's ever got door-to-door was the mad Kirby salesman who wanted to talk about Punisher and the Mage(TM) tarot deck, and even he had to bribe me with a free carpet clean.

I'm sure by doing this I've missed out on things I'd be interested in. I'm sure if I listened to a spiel without "How can I politely get rid of you?" running through my mind, I might hear something I like. But I choose not to listen.

Firstly, I don't like my personal space invaded. Today, one telemarketer call, one hangup and one doorknocker. Insomnia and a newly acquired zcode addiction meant I went to sleep around 8am this morning. Between those unsolicited contacts, the three real calls I got, and the neighbours smashing pots together outside my window, that is some serious metal fatigue in the chains holding down my desire to kill. Even when I'm not asleep or cooking or in the bath, I loathe it. If the phone or the doorbell rings you have to answer it in case it's something legitimate, and then you find you've been baited and switched.

But it isn't just that I find the intrusion annoying, though that's a big part of it. It's the power imbalance inherent in the technique. When you're put in a one-on-one situation like this, you are always at a disadvantage. You have to take for granted that you're not being lied to. You have to take for granted that you're receiving all the relevant information. You have to take the word of the person on your doorstep that your details will not be sold to Nigerian spammers. You can't do research, you haven't got time to read the entire product disclosure statement. There's time pressure - you don't have all day to stand around and neither do they - and there's an increased sense of obligation to a real human asking you something.

It doesn't help that the person with whom you're communicating is usually a barely conscious robot with a pre-programmed spiel and a laminated card they don't really understand, who is being paid commissions and has been trained to plow through your polite "not interested"s. If you're lucky, they're a dedicated and well-informed volunteer; if you're not, they're a desperate teenage boy with a pregnant girlfriend in Cranbourne who works for a marketing company that isn't the company he's trying to shill you long-distance calls for.

For four interminably long weeks just after I left home, I knocked on doors and convinced people to 'register' for a 'new long distance phone service' that was 'free'. We told people that we needed their license number for an identity check; in fact it was for a credit rating. We glossed over the fact that people who signed the dotted line would now receive two separate phone bills. Maybe we saved some people a few dollars, but still, it was the most soul-destroying thing I've ever had to do. I was very good at it. The poor kid from Cranbourne really wasn't, and went home with nothing every night.

I don't know if my refusal to ever accept an unsolicited offer has any dent on marketing practices - I sincerely doubt it - but in the grand shiny future of personal profiling and information stockpiling, maybe they'll notice a pattern in my behaviour, take the damn hint and stop waking me up.
 
 
 
Nicole
11 February 2008 @ 02:01 pm
One of my secret fascinations is all things medical. Okay, it's really not that secret; I actually have many fascinations. Certain things that appeal to me. The colour blue, for example. Dissolving Life Savers to as thin a ring as possible. Anything relating to gemstones. I think everyone has these little fascinations, and they're one of the the things that make each human unique, as much as personality or phobias or physical attributes.

Medical fascination has to be one of the most common fascinations, but also one of the most interesting. Hospital dramas do well. Hospital reality TV brings in crowds. Post a picture of a tumour that has it's mother's hair and teeth, even if it is only made of wool blend, and the interweb will come. There's something undeniably fascinating about the ways the human body goes wrong - but it doesn't all have to be Zach Braff tripping over an inflatable pig or a sanctimonious voiceover by a cheap Australian actor or a non-knitted version of the above. There is a lot of fascination that surrounds the process of real-life, unvarnished medical treatment. As a result, medically themed blogs are ridiculously popular.

I keep up with a few medical blogs, but some of the most interesting are the ones that deal primarily with the people rather than the medical conditions - Nee Naw, Random Reality, paramedics, dispatchers, nurses - fascinating stories. They can only blog, since obscuring identity is paramount. When the governments of the world finally twig that posting on the internet is broadcasting, these little slices of reality will probably disappear entirely.

Last week, though, I happened on a new one, which I think is possibly the best-written blog I've ever read. Ever. It's by a London paramedic, it's called Siren Voices, and it can be found here:

http://sirenvoices.blogspot.com/

I'm not a great advertiser of things, but my god, that is a damn fine pile of words.
 
 
Nicole
23 January 2008 @ 02:44 pm
I'm finding it hard to articulate exactly why I was so shocked by the headline I found waiting on the Age's auto-reloaded front page this morning. Or maybe I'm not finding it hard to articulate.

It's always shocking when someone young dies. Not because they're inherently worth more than someone older, but because the chance for that worth to contribute to our lives has been taken away from us. There's a sort of tragedy curve that starts high (for children, babies and toddlers, drenched in pathos), and then as a rule slowly drops off for the rest of our lives. That curve, though, can go up if we show promise. If we show that we are more worthy of life and everything in it by giving something back to the race of man. Each person has their own personal measure of promise and tragedy - someone might value a promising sports career over a science whiz - but ultimately, we all have this system for calculating the approximate sadness of the death of someone we don't know, based on what we know about them.

This is the theory, but it doesn't ring true today. Brad Renfro died last week, and he got an "ohhh... sad." Sir Edmund Hillary's death rated higher, but in the end, the guy was 88 and we all have to go sometime. But Heath Ledger dying has hit me with more than just the loss of what he could have done. It feels like a personal loss.

Possibly it's because he's Australian. He looks and sounds like the people I know. Our Heath and all that. Possibly it's because, through his movie career, I've watched him grow into a better actor, master the art of accents, choose to leave his crappy movies behind and work with quality directors, willing to take a bit part to get into a good film.

But really, it's because of this:



The gossip dailies gave him no end of shit for this outfit. Yes, I read the gossip dailies. My dark shame. But looking at that photo - and watching him doing the ridiculous karaoke scene in 10 things I hate about you, and gamely pashing Jake Gyllenhaal when they're both clearly straight, and going all-out method for the chance to play the Joker - I get the strong impression that Heath Ledger is my people. There was always the vague feeling he might turn up at a party, or a theatre opening, wearing a cowboy shirt and drinking a locally brewed beer.

Now he's dead. Very odd. Like putting a full stop in the middle of a sentence. I'm sorry, Heath. I wish I'd known you better.
 
 
Nicole
17 January 2008 @ 10:42 pm
So I need a desk. The black ex-office monstrosity I've been using can't be coaxed into my bedroom, and I need a smaller model. I don't really feel like shelling out $300 for a bit of ikea chipboard veneer, and the salvos are really very, very creepy - they buy the good stuff from other op shops and then mark it up a thousand percent, meaning you have to go there because they have the best selection. My sofas, when I bought them, cost $95 - yet when I got them home and cleaned them, I found the original $5 stickers under the cushions.

My question is this: Does anyone have a hard rubbish collection coming up in their neck of the woods? Or their parents' woods? Councils are very secretive about them, in a highly-non-communistic way, but there's nothing quite like a good hard-rubbish trawl, and desks are a prime item - too big to get rid of easily, and very likely to be victims of the downsizing itch. If you happen upon a pile of washing machines and bicycle inner tubes on a nature strip, let me know.
 
 
Nicole
09 January 2008 @ 12:59 am
Internet-generated band. Or, as I prefer, "outfit".

Your band name is the title from a random Wikipedia page.

Your album title is the last four words of the last quote on the Quotations Page.

Your album cover is the third picture down on the Flickr interestingness page.



Jazzy grooves, methinks, ethnic influences and the occasional echoey sythesised bleep or vocal sample. The kind of music that you put on your minimalist stereo before your date arrives so they'll think you're funky but laid back, or crank out of your bedroom window for the improptu drag-the-sofa-onto-the-nature-strip party. After years together, quietly producing music, Coupe de Madagascar will split up and no one will notice.
 
 
Nicole
29 December 2007 @ 05:07 pm
Somehow, some kind of complete bastard has leaked my nice spam-free gmail address to a friendly email worm. My spam folder is filling up with stock reports, innocuous links and munged poetry and current events. I knew it would come someday, just not so soon. Not so soon. Dear God, Why.

The odd side effect of all this is that Gmail's context-sensitive advertisments have been offering me some mouth-watering delights.

Creamy Spam Broccoli Casserole
Spam Confetti Pasta
Savory Spam Crescents
Spicy Spam Kabobs
Spam Primavera
Spam Swiss Pie
Vineyard Spam Salad

My two particular favourites in this lineup are the French Fry Spam Casserole, which features not only the titular spam and frozen french fries, but also condensed cream of chicken soup, cream, cheddar and cornflakes, and the Gingered Spam Salad, which requires ginger, freshly squeezed lime juice and zest, cherry tomatoes, Thai bird peppers, coriander. And a can of spam. I don't care how much zest you put on, spam is at least 70% sow's ear.

Still, at least it really does mean Google's context-sensitive ads are as dumb as they make them out to be. My spam fetish is safe with them.
 
 
 
Nicole
28 November 2007 @ 01:19 am
I'm still a bit dizzy from the reaction I got from my last post. I mean, it's livejournal. Nothing ever happens on livejournal. It was like watching a much-loved pet guinea-pig escape, run free through the streets, be adopted by a group of actors and circus performers, join a cabaret and end up on Mornings with Kerri-Anne. Or something along those lines. I'm sort of afraid to touch it in case it explodes again.

Still, whatever I did, it worked, and Little Johnny's dead. I mean, you can't survive a humiliation like that, can you? It's beyond the kind of humiliation that necessitates instant retirement 'for family reasons'. It's the kind of humiliation that you really need to just drop dead of a tragic disease after. I'm thinking maybe Huntington's, or Lou Gehrig's.

My father and I were discussing spending the proceeds of an election bet he made with his neighbours on a small memorial to John. Maybe a small stone tablet. We got as far as "Here lies..." and then we couldn't get any further because of the laughing.

I'm still a bit drunk after Saskia's marvelllous party on Saturday. I actually clicked my heels. Right around the humiliation speech, I also proposed to Anna. She's accepted, provided I can furnish her with an acceptable diamond, in platinum. I'm buying Kinder Surprises by the trayful, maybe I'll get lucky?
 
 
Nicole
After Leah and Damien posted about the trials involved in voting in the senate, I thought to myself, not this time. This time I will not be caught in a cardboard booth, clutching a pencil stub, wondering if the Hope Party are slightly lefty or slightly loony. (Lefty, I later found out.) I went scouring the internet for a party-by-party breakdown of who all the candidates were and what they stood for, but I couldn't find a thing. Just a Queensland one that wavered between lauding Pauline Hanson and describing the greens as 'losers'. I don't know about you, but if someone tries to write off a political group using the word 'loser', I instantly stop listening.

My House of Reps voting preferences were assisted a little by GetUp's little web tool, How Should I Vote, which allows you to take a 20 question test, and then gives you a list of how the candidates in your seat answered in comparison to you. It's a little left-biased - no Libs seem to have taken the test - but interesting anyway. But nothing on the senate! Nothing!

So I did a bunch of trolling the interweb, and then, well, I thought, why not chuck all this together so that the lovely folks on my interweb friends list can, too, know ahead of time what the candidate for Senator On-Line stands for?

The following is drawn from the list of Victorian Senate candidates on the Australian Electoral Commission's website. Candidates are in the order they appear on the ballot. Parties marked "Group X" etc are only listed by name on the ballot, not by party, I think because they're not official political parties, but I've tried to dig up their affiliates where possible. I also add a disclaimer; I'm a little hazy on how the hell senate preferences actually work. The implications I attach, or in fact anything I've said full stop, may be entirely wrong, and should by no means be used as a guide for voting.

Bring On The LooniesCollapse )

[Edit] It's just been pointed out to me that whoever gets your |1| preference gets $1.50 for it, provided they receive over 4% of the vote. If you'd like to vote for someone who isn't likely to crack the 4% mark, you can give your |1| to someone low on one of the bigger tickets (e.g. the fourth-listed Greens candidate) and then your vote will carry on to your real first preference.
 
 
Nicole
After Leah and Damien posted about the trials involved in voting in the senate, I thought to myself, not this time. This time I will not be caught in a cardboard booth, clutching a pencil stub, wondering if the Hope Party are slightly lefty or slightly loony. (Lefty, I later found out.) I went scouring the internet for a party-by-party breakdown of who all the candidates were and what they stood for, but I couldn't find a thing. Just a Queensland one that wavered between lauding Pauline Hanson and describing the greens as 'losers'. I don't know about you, but if someone tries to write off a political group using the word 'loser', I instantly stop listening.

My House of Reps voting preferences were assisted a little by GetUp's little web tool, How Should I Vote, which allows you to take a 20 question test, and then gives you a list of how the candidates in your seat answered in comparison to you. It's a little left-biased - no Libs seem to have taken the test - but interesting anyway. But nothing on the senate! Nothing!

So I did a bunch of trolling the interweb, and then, well, I thought, why not chuck all this together so that the lovely folks on my interweb friends list can, too, know ahead of time what the candidate for Senator On-Line stands for?

The following is drawn from the list of Victorian Senate candidates on the Australian Electoral Commission's website. Candidates are in the order they appear on the ballot. Parties marked "Group X" etc are only listed by name on the ballot, not by party, I think because they're not official political parties, but I've tried to dig up their affiliates where possible. I also add a disclaimer; I'm a little hazy on how the hell senate preferences actually work. The implications I attach, or in fact anything I've said full stop, may be entirely wrong, and should by no means be used as a guide for voting.

Bring On The LooniesCollapse )

[Edit] It's just been pointed out to me that whoever gets your |1| preference gets $1.50 for it, provided they receive over 4% of the vote. If you'd like to vote for someone who isn't likely to crack the 4% mark, you can give your |1| to someone low on one of the bigger tickets (e.g. the fourth-listed Greens candidate) and then your vote will carry on to your real first preference.
 
 
Nicole
16 November 2007 @ 04:58 pm
Sifting through old SMSes in my outbox I came upon this gem:

"... I'm willing the internet to work again like I'm willing John Howard to slip on a rhinestone and break his ankle and never dance again."*



The internet is working again now... I wonder if my other wish will come true.


*This is even funnier if you've seen Showgirls. Not that I'd recommend seeing Showgirls for any reason whatsoever. Unless you hate yourself. Then you should see it, because you'll hate Showgirls more than you could possibly hate yourself.
 
 
Nicole
02 November 2007 @ 02:03 am
Asperger's Quiz Question 39:

Do you enjoy mimicking animal sounds?


No...

Wait.


Yes.



EDIT: Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?


God yes. Sweet Jesus, I have Asperger's Syndrome.
 
 
 
Nicole
19 October 2007 @ 10:50 pm
If these are still funny tomorrow, I might send them in. Best to give it some space, though. It's never a good sign when I find myself hilarious.

--------------

Magdalene tilted the mirror to admire her perfect nose, tumescent lips, green eyes that glinted like the Castafiore emeralds the magpie had stolen, flawless skin like creamy chicken soup with a garnish of freckles more perfect than the freshest parsley; she admired the pearls as they sat against her throat - the pearls Daniel had given her, saying "Darling, these pearls are a symbol of our everlasting love - it shall live as long as the uncaring mollusc that spat these beauteous morsels into the world; just as the uncaring world spat a beauteous you into my arms."

-------------------

Mysterious winds howled around the tower as a mysterious light began to glow in a window, where a mysterious cowled figure mysteriously held aloft a mysterious tome, on which mysterious runes and a mysterious engraving could be seen, depicting a mysterious creature with wings and mysterious horny fangy things and a mysterious sort of umbrella but it might be a hat, or a fish if you turned it sideways, but whatever it was, it was definitely mysterious.

-------------------

And a special Talk Like A Pirate Day Bulwer-Lytton Sentence:

"Stand Avast!" shouted the fearsome pirate Norwich the Brown, "I'm planked if I'll stone the crows before this Arrr gets me scurvy! It'll be me hearties before that happens! Get me doubloon, now, and be booty about it! Jolly Roger the crow's nest with a salty sea dog, and swab the starboard wenches before I ahoy the lot of you! Now keelhaul to! Avast! AVAST!!!
 
 
Nicole
10 September 2007 @ 04:53 am
It's late at night. I'm sorting Vonne's photographs.

Not photographs, really. I'm sitting among a life. Every surface around me is covered in them. Hundreds of them. Photos of people, parties, cats, dessert plates, exotic destinations. Mostly of people. Vonne liked to be in photographs, and to take photos of other people.

Most of them are happy-snaps. Not many are works of photographic art. Here and there a great one surfaces, mostly of Vonne rather than by her. Despite not being close to any standard template of beauty, she was a ridiculous photogenic hottie.

Photos of Eve, her mother. I don't think Eve ever really walked. Early photos propped on horses and fences and cane chairs, sometimes hobbling about in leg braces and crutches. Later photos in wheelchairs, and eventually bedridden. Eve's tenants, the Kans, in all her photos, their kids surrounding her like a very small crayon-clutching Mongol horde.

Photos of Vonne playing dressups in the garden as a child. Obligatory bridesmaids' photos. My grandfather Peter's photos of Europe, every monument with a tiny Vonne in the foreground. Photos of Vonne and JoB, Dorothy, Hugh, assorted step-children and step-grand-spawn. Whole families she knew and loved that I never really got a handle on. Friends, neighbours. All her different houses lovingly documented. All the parties she threw. She threw a mean party. Watching all her furniture and objets drift from place to place, house to house, as she got bored and redecorated. Adventures to exotic destinations documented for posterity.

Early black-and-white pictures drift into washed-out colour. Become bright and glossy. Sizes get bigger and are standardised. Eventually digital prints start creeping in. The subject matter is the same.

Vonne bursts out of photos. You can hear her laugh in the pictures, her head thrown back. You can see her looking out at you, with that mischief-on-my-mind gleam in her eye. She's holding a glass, or a cigarette, or a whole wine-bottle, or an upside-down cat. Photos of her at my aunt and uncle's wedding, dancing on a table. Leaning with glee on someone else's vintage car. Vonne had the bearing of a silent movie star and a foxy smile.

People who met Vonne inevitably fell in love with her, her shrieks, her alarmingly blunt questions, her delight in throwing swearwords down on the table like a roast bird at Christmas in her beautifully elocuted throaty voice. She'd listen to you intently for four minutes and nod sympathetically as you waffled about your troubles, then with great dignity tell you to shut up and pull your thumb out. No tradesperson, shop assistant, call-centre employee or other hapless service industry person could escape her steamroller charm. She had strings of them that followed her round, like ducklings. Everyone had arguments with her, deeply personal disagreements and feuds, but it was impossible to stay angry. You found yourself rejoining the queue of ducklings without even noticing.

Vonne might be gone, but these photographs are little snippets of her soul. A collection of images of her and of the things she loved. And I will scan them all, no matter how long it takes.

 
 
Nicole
23 August 2007 @ 01:37 am
So, I went on this holiday, right. And to prove that I went on this holiday, or more importantly to prove that I'm alive, I took, like, five thousand photos. Or thereabouts.

I've put the ones from Japan online, along with some witty commentary and judicious cropping. Since Flickr will only let me have three sets (what is with that?) they can be found in a dog-eared, autumn-leaf-like pile at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureskew/

I don't guarantee that I photographed everything in Japan, but there are love hotels, Ghibli merchandises, parfaits with cornflakes in them, maple leaves, cherry blossoms, engrishes and pink fluffy dresses for your chihuahua. If that doesn't satisfy, nothing will.
 
 
Nicole
11 June 2007 @ 09:21 am
Hello all,

I've finally got around to putting some more photos on the interweb. This lot spans Barcelona, Paris and Brugge.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureskew/sets/72157600331647444/

So far, Europe is defined by: cobblestone paving in a fanning pattern, a lot of dogs, an equal amount of dog crap, old brick buildings, random gilding of all manner of objects, a constant state of elections, overpriced everything, a total lack of lifts in train stations and an utter fascination with my hair.

Off to Bruxelles this morning. I'm going to need a holiday when I get back.
 
 
Nicole
01 June 2007 @ 07:43 pm
Dearest Mama,

My week in Barcelona draws to an end. The weather continues clement.

I must say that when the idea of touring the Continent was first brought up, I was somewhat cautious; I suspected the rich foods and unpredictable climes would upset my digestion and ruin the balance of my humours. However Barcelona, or Barthelona as the locals charmingly lisp it, provides more than adequately the comforts of home. The locals are friendly and the young men call out inappropriate but charming greetings as ladies walk by.

I have toured the city and its marvellously-built follies, sampled the local sandwiches (or 'entrepans'), been astounded by all manner of wrought-iron balconies and quaint shops. They value art here greatly and I have been astonished with the works of Dali, Picasso and Miro that abound. I also visited the beach and have become quite red from the sun, unlike my normal pale self. I am sure it does me good, although it is quite painful!!

One thing that has surprised me is the excessive number of hounds in this city!! It seems the locals favour Man's Best Friend over the more elegant feline, and despite being largely unchained and allowed to wander as they will, they are well-behaved.

As well as hounds, this city boasts an excessive number of something not so pleasant - tourists. It is most dreadful when travelling to be reminded by the uncouth behaviour of fellow travellers that one is but a presumptuous visitor to a city, and to watch them scramble about purchasing castanets, keychains and stuffed bulls in mounds and walking aimlessly about the main street is something of a dampener on one's mood of discovery.

Still, I have largely avoided much trying on their behalf by simply avoiding the populous spots, and the company provided me in my hostel has been more than acceptable.

I shall write further on my arrival in Paris. Give my love to everyone.

Much love,
Nicole
 
 
 
Nicole
11 May 2007 @ 07:05 pm
So it looks like my round the world trip will be detouring back via a little city I like to call Melbourne. I checked the fine print on my travel insurance, spent some torturous minutes wrestling with the Japanese public telephone system, and it looks like I'm covered to come back for the funeral. Despite the blurry definitions of 'relative' where step-grandmothers are concerned.

I promise to post photos of this, my newest and most exotic destination, faithfully to my Flickr account.

Japan, by the way, is still fun. Their food remains delicious, their junk remains the best in the world, their people remain the most paradoxical combination of bland and fascinating one can imagine. Very little has changed since I left - shops are just where I left them, and the same guy is still selling cat-themed postcards at Kyobashi station, though the strawberry-cream daifuku are gone. Schoolgirls are still rolling their skirts up to scandalous heights (the current fashion is for short-shorts with over-the-knee black socks and bright shoes), salarymen still get drunk and have to ask the taxi driver to stop so they can throw up, people still have ridiculous toy dogs. Ame-mura, haven of alternative J-pop culture, plastic-fingernailed big-haired skanks and - gasp! - black men - is still considered a 'dangerous' place to go. Tiny gothic-lolita girls can be glimpsed in train stations and in the street. People tell you your Japanese is amazing after a 'hello'. Nice to be back.
 
 
Nicole
10 May 2007 @ 03:53 pm
This may not mean a lot to many humans out there, but I know it will to some of you.

My step-grandmother Vonne, venerable and mad and thoroughly fantastic lady, is no longer with us.

In true Vonne style, she waited until a party was being thrown in her honour (76th birthday, I believe), the house full of adoring fans and booze and music, and promptly slipped going down the stairs.

Vonne was my grandfather's secretary. They ran away together when she was in her late teens, and stayed together until he died (before I was born). She was a huge fan of swearing and drinking and dancing and loved to shock people for the fun of it. I'm not sure if she ever got around to writing her life story, but if she didn't, someone surely will.

In honour of Vonne, I will now share a bit of wisdom she bequeathed us once at a Christmas-ish dinner. To be read in the broadest possible accent of your region of choice:


Mah son Billy
Had a ten-foot willy
He showed it to the girl next door.
She thought it were a snake
So she hit it with a rake
And now it's only five foot four.


You will be sorely missed, Vonne.
 
 
Nicole
24 April 2007 @ 07:36 pm
Now that I've got that out of my system.

I put some photos of Beijing up on Flickr using the painfully slow connection at my hostel last week.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28614060@N00/sets/72157600064105307/

When I'm feeling sufficiently de-communist-ized, I'll start putting up some North Korea photos as well. They are, how you say, quite something, though many fine photographic opportunities were lost through the constant policing by our tour guides.
 
 
Nicole
24 April 2007 @ 05:48 pm
stupid China stupid blocked stupid livejournal stupid!

Democratic People's Republic, my generous round posterior.

After all, we know Livejournal is a hotbed of political subversion and intrigue and certainly not a hotbed of petty angst, overblown literary pretensions and lunch-recounting.
 
 
Nicole
28 February 2007 @ 01:22 am
This week has been madness. By "this week", I actually mean the whole month since I left Melbourne Uni - time is malleable when you're unemployed - but the last ten days or so of this week has been particularly mad.

David has been packed off to Japan and has arrived intact, no exploded bags or missed flights, and has already been to one goth club, three temples, gotten lost several times and been overcharged for very factual peanuts (in a bowl and everything). He swears he's going to update his livejournal, t_r_i_p_e_, but I suspect he won't catch the keyboard bug. He just doesn't have the kind of semicolon-littered internal monologue required to sustain blogging.

I, on the other hand, am now the proud owner of one round-the-world ticket. Leaving just over a month from now.


I have to get everything booked and sorted azzap, but I need recommendations. For everything. Cockroach-free hostels, restaurants, tourist attractions, cheese and mop museums, ways of travelling, sneaky local tips, common methods of theft and bag-snatchery (heh) to look out for, competitive eating competitions, dates of frequent flooding, phrases that mean "I'm gonna smash that pretty face-plate of yours" etc.

I know a lot of you have been to the places I'm going, and I'd seriously appreciate any little tidbits or massive thirty-page essays you might have.

My destinations are as follows: Beijing, the DPRK (!!), Osaka, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, possibly some other European city, New York, San Francisco.

If there's somewhere I absolutely must go, dahlink that's not on that list, put it down and maybe I can squeeze in a side-trip. Particularly in Europe, the travel agent got so excited about my trip that she convinced me to go for a month on the Continent with nothing planned beyond eat, sleep and hit on Irish people in the hostels.

Also, if there's anyone willing to take on the job of designing the website to be set up to find me when I'm kidnapped as a cut-rate chinese bride, give me a yell, I have some ideas in the mauve and mustard range and some animated GIFs of angels flapping their wings ready to go.
 
 
 
Nicole
I am, though. Bored. I've got a week left at Melbourne uni and not a great deal to do. The whole department is in a state of permanent upheaval, no developers, three-quarters of everyone on training, the rest panicking about enrolments (in which I have no involvement). I'm now sitting around full of a gluttonous lunch, gearing up to maybe eat a biscuit later on.

So - does anyone want icons?

I don't have much at my disposal graphics-wise, but I love making icons. Let me know if you want one, and if you have any particular icon desires, and I'll paintbrush the living hell out of them for you.
 
 
Nicole
11 January 2007 @ 09:29 am
I have a cat. He's black and white, and skinny, and very tall, and has big yellow eyes, and loves to rub his face against human faces and lick noses. He'll play hunt-the-string for hours, and go for walks with you to the milk bar, and is instant flying death to any mouse or cockroach unwise enough to run across the kitchen floor. He's usually a very sweet cat, but he gets shirty when you try to fence him in.

The original trip back from the RSPCA was a symphony of tiny pathetic mewling. His first trip to the vet (in the cat carrier) was also deafening. Eventually I wised up and took him in a Bakers' Delight bread-bag, which he seemed to like more, but you inevitably got Looks from passers by who were horrified by the Tortures You Must Be Inflicting on the poor cat for it to be Making That Noise.

Sometime on saturday, my little lebkuchen-small managed to slice open his back paw, right down between the two middle toes. He was apparently unfazed by the crusted blood and horrible smell, but we hustled him to the vet, who prescribed Stitches, requiring full sedation, and then confinement to quarters for ten days.

Taking home the woozy cat post-anaesthetic was pretty funny. He managed to crawl out of his cat-bag (brand new, skull print, very stylish, thankyou smith street fashion outlet shopping) while I was driving and into my lap. Monumentally dangerous and also monumentally cute. Okay, so it was a forty zone all the way home, so probably not that dangerous, but it's quite hard to steer around a cat.

On returning home, catnik was alternately purry, screamy, hissy and passed out on the carpet. Also funny. The funny started to drop away after about 2am, when the last of the anaesthetic wore off and kitten wanted to go out.

Those tiny little kitten lungs are not little any more. The volume on my cat has been turned up over the years. The yowling. The screaming. The plaintive mewling, designed to hit whatever mental nerve we humans have for crying offspring. His little kitteny voice asking "Why are you doing this? Why? WHY? WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME??". All night. Two minute intervals followed by five minute serenades. And I have ten more days of this.

Next time he hurts his leg, I'm just going to shoot him.
 
 
Nicole
20 December 2006 @ 02:16 pm
Work functions are so much more palatable after your fifth drink. Suddenly, everything you spend eight hours a day doing seems hilarious, and all the intimidating suits in upper management are fair game for mockery and drunken wit. To hell with their histories of blank stares and inability to remember names. Chrismas is the great leveller of corporate horseshit, and the chance for true brilliance to shine through, jump on a table, kick off its shoes and do a fantastic rendition of Janis Joplin. So to speak.

I love making a gregarious idiot of myself.
 
 
Current Mood: None, or other:
 
 
Nicole
21 November 2006 @ 10:17 am
" ...and then we grow up and we end up doing things, the job thing, the career thing. The careers officer’d come to school- I mean, I ended up doing standup comedy- was gonna be in the Army, ended up doing standup comedy. Slightly different… slightly more makeup where I went. Army’s only got that night-time look and… it doesn’t work for me. No, it’s true! I like all that sort of running, jumping, standing still – “Oh, I can see you in a tree! (mocking sounds)”part of it, so standup comedy- vocation, you gotta go for that! You can’t just fall into it.

And there’s others like taxidermy! You can’t just go, “Oh, I was just working at the chip shop, and I just started stuffing animals with sand,” you know? You’ve gotta want to be! “I want to be a taxidermist! I wanna fill animals with sand. (mimes stuffing an animal) I wanna get more sand into an animal than anybody has ever bloody got in one. I wanna fill a rat with the entire Gobi Desert, so it’s really quite tight.”

They should put more things in, not just sand, that gets boring. “Porridge, I’m doing this one with porridge!” (mimes stapling the stuffed animal shut) Staple gun…

“I’ve done your dog, it’s is finished. I filled it with porridge.” (flop)

“It’s a bit floppy…”

“Yeah, that’s porridge to you, you know? You’ve got a two-level effect.” "
 
 
Nicole
30 October 2006 @ 12:15 pm
So I've got a big whack of annual leave saved up.

Everyone is too broke to jaunt off overseas with me on a whim, so I was thinking of finding a small sea to jaunt over, and maybe going to Tasmania for a week or so.

Thing is, I haven't been to Tasmania since I was about seven, and while faint memories of tall trees and flattened quolls by the roadside are very evocative, they aren't practical when actually planning a holiday.

Can anyone recommend things to do or see in Tasmania? Will probably be taking the car along, I mean, what's the point of having a car if you don't go on cheese-and-wine-and-quoll tours of Tasmania.

For inspiration, and for the edification and entertainment of those unable to offer advice, I have included a picture of a quoll. They so cute.



I do like doing and seeing pretty much anything, with the exception of hootenanny and sporting-type activities. And even hootenany I could be convinced.
 
 
 
Nicole
07 September 2006 @ 03:00 pm
I have a moderately unusual interests list here on livejournal, the idea when I put it together being that all my interests would be unique on livejournal, and that I'd then watch and see who became interested in things like "misappropriating road signs" and "serial killing indoor plants". A number of them were put up with some of you folks in mind, others are just stuff I find hilarious. Some of them I had to kluge with alt-244 blanks because livejournal wouldn't accept "i like pillows" as an interest, and has an annoying four-word limit.

Morgan303 just posted an interests collage that fishes around (I assume) on Google Image and comes back with little bits and pieces for each of your interests. I just had to give it a go.Collapse )

And I, for the life of me, cannot work out what the hell brought up about half these pictures. I mean, the creme brulee? The Neopet? The wheelchair people? The dog squashed down the back of the car seat? For reference, my actual interests list is included. Some of them seemed to be beyond the power of Google Image. I, for one, am amazed that there are no image results for "Bagging Alan Moore".

Nicole's Interests: A poem in 88 verses.Collapse )
 
 
Nicole
24 August 2006 @ 02:53 pm
Supplying you with the finest entertainment culled from a careful analysis of the internet at this very second.

A flash animation rebels and does battle with its creator:

Animator vs Animation

I particularly like the bit where he makes a bow and arrow out of the line tool and the pen nib.
 
 
Nicole
18 July 2006 @ 11:46 am


Take that, internet. No bitching about bandwidth. This was a Russian Blue Denial Of Ability To Breathe Attack.

The rest are here. Prepare to hit yourself in the face because you can't take the cute.
 
 
Nicole
03 January 2006 @ 05:47 pm


Let's hope Melbourne Uni's still somewhere down the bottom there. I'm giving them my paperwork and soul tomorrow.
 
 
Nicole
15 December 2005 @ 01:49 pm
It's going round the SMS networks like chlamydia:

Nonviolent protest against racist attack Fri 16th 5pm Bourke St Mall. Spread this like wildfire.


I will personally be sparing both my friday afternoon and my sunday lunch for peace, love and mung beans. That said, my moderately conservative boss recieved this SMS earlier today, so love_diversity folks, might want to think about throwing your lot in with them?
 
 
 
Nicole
28 November 2005 @ 05:29 pm
I'm something of a lurker on livejournal.

While I don't post much, or even comment much, I do read just about everything that goes on on my friends page. If you wrote up what you had for breakfast, or posted pictures of your belly button with a funny face drawn on, or told everyone about what that slag Sharon said about our Jimmy at the party last week, I probably saw it. I'm like your creepy internet stalker. *

This era is, I suspect, coming to an end. My laptop of many years melted down a couple of months ago; today, I've moved to an open plan office. My computer screen is on display for all and sundry to gaze at. The pleasures of the internet have suddenly become guilty. No more Google image search, no more hitting on girls on the internet, no more steak and/or cheese. I'm experimenting with turning off images, but it's just not the same. People keep popping up over my shoulder to ask me important questions and nick my scissors.

So yeah, from now on, you can probably get away with re-using your internet material on me at parties.

Or can you? Can you?




* That said, I do draw the line at lyrics and what-donut-flavour-is-everyone-on-your-friends-list tests. Even creepy stalkers get sick of watching you playing minesweeper through your bedroom window for the seventh straight hour.
 
 
Nicole
29 September 2005 @ 04:16 pm
yeah... so linearscaffold licked y'all. You want chocolate, Xian, you jes' let me know, you pretentious cinema-sipping shiraz whore.

so for this lot and this lot...

a list of movies what are good and I like and have pictures in them.Collapse )
 
 
Nicole
28 September 2005 @ 03:51 pm
I'm determined not to do anything even slightly constructive today, and in view of the "Too damn hard you cinema-swilling pretentious arthouse shiraz-sipper"-type comments, I thought I'd put up a second set of pictures, all from the same movies.

Round 2.Collapse )
 
 
Nicole
27 September 2005 @ 05:51 pm
You wanna guess some movies? You wanna? Is that what you want? Yeah?

You have my fullest permission to use google, but no looking at the source code :) Anyone gets 'em all, I've got a box of chocolates with your name on it. Brie if it's Anna.

You guess some movies.Collapse )
 
 
Nicole
26 September 2005 @ 12:26 pm