Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...
Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...
:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications ::
I live to write. It's not wise to get in my
If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.
Adventures in Orchids
Apparently I am now collecting them...
EO - Everlasting orchid. Phalaenopsis. I've had this orchid for at least 15 years and it just keeps flowering...
AO - Alien face orchid. Phalaenopsis . Bought 2018 - lovely little flowers, all different patterns!
RO - Rescued orchid
TO - Tiny orchid. Phalaenopsis. Bought at Tesco 21.8.20. It just begged to come home with me. How could I say no?
CO - Crimson orchid. Cambria. Another Tesco find. This one may be going to live in Ken's room once we've redecorated and put up the new shelving; it prefers a cooler, less sunny windowsill. If so, I'll need to find another cambrian to keep it company.
GO - Golden orchid. Phalaenopsis. Saw this one when I bought CO and left it behind - then immediately regretted it as soon as I got home. Never seen one like it before. Ken, bless him, went back over to Tesco in the rain and bought it for me...
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Still tired. Think I must be run down...
So, what's been happening? Well, the third and fourth parts of Devon's adventures should be ready to code/upload at the weekend. The third part - Recruitment, a kind of interlude - is done; the fourth part is a joint chapter (and the one Lutra mentions on her blog...[smirk]) which is coming along just fine... Lutra's Safe from Harm (that's the one inspired by a posty from onna) is finished (and a great read!), and I've also done a tiny 'Jackson' Interlude (readers familiar with Dystopia may remember him as the tracker I took great pleasure in torturing in Retribution). Well, he's back, and nastier than ever...
I need to do a major re-org of the Darkside at the weekend: there are currently three strands - two of them due to entwine in a little while... Might be best to organise the fics by where they take place rather than who is in them... That could work quite well. I can devise background tiles accordingly... On the other hand, that could confuse the order in which they should be read... Hn. Need to think about it...
As well, our next two AC chapters are in progress - my Kinfolk and Lutra's Consequences pt 2 - and might even be ready to upload with the Dystopia chapters!
Cartoon Network finally showed the Dexter's Lab ep with the blue alien (Hokochu, Prince of Pain and Humiliation, no less). I've now videoed it in the hope of getting some screencaps in future.
Kai was desperate for a Master Dragoon beyblade, so we ordered it and a Seaborg for him online on Tuesday: they arrived today. Along with - AYA! - my How to Draw Manga: Couples book from Amazon.com [fingers itching to reach for pencil...]. It's truly wonderful, an excellent resource and at least as good as onna said, so my thanks for recommending it. And sending 'fluences for the tooth, and for work that the cuts don't cause you too much aggravation of any nature.
Still no sign of your parcel though...
Ken went to the hospital for his regular checkup today. He's now borderline anaemic and if we can't increase his iron they say they'll decrease the medication, which could decrease its effectiveness. At least Ken and Kai both like watercress...
It's perishing outside. Around -10, which relatively speaking isn't that cold, though it's pretty unusual for the UK South West. But the wind's scraped right off the Arctic and numbs your face almost instantly. Heh, at least we didn't get snow...
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
But Retrieval - the followup to Runaway - is finished and sneak peeks off to the usual.
And I watched Jupiter Jazz pt 2.... [sniffle... >8-( ]
Monday, January 27, 2003
Runaway read and approved and sneak peeks sent to the usual... I'll code/upload later and maybe start the second part of it, though I really need Lutra's input for that, since Razor and Lenore are her characters.
The next AC chapter (Kinfolk) is also underway.
Transposition is nagging to be finished.
Haddock required - please send to the usual address!
[lassooed on onna's blog] Oh, have another idea about the communications device hooking to the ear - perhaps an earring instead, with a less complicated headpiece for some of them, but someone like Dhar would have a more complicated piece as 'guard', as well as more maile as 'armour'.
Oh, have another idea about the communications device hooking to the ear - perhaps an earring instead, with a less complicated headpiece for some of them, but someone like Dhar would have a more complicated piece as 'guard', as well as more maile as 'armour'.
All sounds great! Dhar in particular is very imposing: along with the heavier duty chain mail she's armed (will work out the details later but there'll be some kind of projectile or laser-type weapon, a laser knife, and something like shuriken) - mostly for show, of course...
[grumblepout] Can't wait any longer - off to bed...
Runaway is finished. Lutra, get online so I can discuss with you!
[pace... pace... pace...]
Sunday, January 26, 2003
[lassooed on onna's blog] Now, since Hyou (leopard) is the main type like most of the primary party members the next question is, what types of leopards for the rest of the group?
Now, since Hyou (leopard) is the main type like most of the primary party members the next question is, what types of leopards for the rest of the group?
Khiyal and Taiz are spotted leopards (the most common type), Chalak is clouded (next most common). Snow leopards are rare, black are the rarest of all. Interbreeding has led to a wide variety of different patterns, including some that look almost like stripes (lines of close-spaced spots, though, not true stripes). I love the idea of the Mohawk for Taaqat! Dhar is the biggest of the group, the hyou the smallest (think 6'6" for Dhar, 6' for Taaqat, around 5'9" for the others).
Any other info you need? Just ask!
Thanks for the Lolly!
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
[blinks. Blinks some more] Um.... I've just half-watched Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. The case where Doctor Quest and Race (who are [nudge nudge] 'buddies') are contesting guardianship of Johnny and Hadji... and Sealab 2021, the happy cake oven episode... and Aqua Teen Hunger Force... and Leave it to Brak (uh, a goldfish called Mr Tickles? The lightswitch of total devastation?)...
ROFLMAO!!! Are these for real? (Heh, surreal, certainly...)
Outlaw Star is growing on me too, once I got past the silliness and that incredibly irritating cat-creature (Asia? Ayesha?)...
Heh, don't you just love CNX?
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Onna - re: Hyoujin...
I like the idea of fine chain mail 'fabric'. I've handled it before - somewhere, can't for the life of me remember where! - and loved the way it slid through the fingers and whispered as it moved. It's satisfyingly heavy too, and drapes beautifully, not to mention the amazing shimmer when the light hits it... It's also an excellent idea for a race that have very sharp retractable claws!
[Onna] If the genitalia is under the base of the tail a loincloth that has two flaps without any crotch 'fabric' may be just the ticket.
OK.... Let's have the genitals placed similarly to terran cats, female breasts as detailed before, and the species' scent so alien the Saiya-jin have to learn to distinguish between male and female. Over to you to play with the 'clothing'! Only thing to bear in mind is that the tail (like the Saiyan tail) is an extension of the spine, and in the Hyoujin needs to be able to move freely as it's used to assist balance. (Not that I think you need reminding of that, of course, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.)
Members of the delegation (excuse my just giving first names here!):
All female, of course, as is their ship's crew. There are a few males on board, mainly for manual labour: they may be allowed shore-leave later if the delegation decides it's safe for them to be alllowed onworld (in other words if they can be trusted not to embarrass the Hyoujin!). The hyou are the most numerous of the Hyoujin (and consider themselves the most civilised, which is why the species takes their name.) You'll meet the delegation in the next AC chapter, which I'm about to start (yes, I'm still working on Business pt 3 but it's going to take a while...)
We watched the first 40 minutes of Metropolis this evening. And then gave up - it was sending us to sleep. One of the least attractive anime I've ever seen, artwork out of Tin Tin and incredibly ugly characters, backgrounds borrowed from Blade Runner, AD Police-type sub-plot... I simply could not bring myself to care sufficiently about any of the charas to be bothered to watch it.
Ooh, I do like Vicious...
(It really annoys me to get Zone Applications in one obviously real name and the confirmatory email back in a completely different real name. I automatically reject them, but it's a real waste of my time....)
[snarl] OK, I am now completely pissed off with BusinessServe. Yet again their server has gone down, at the weekend, right after I've uploaded a major update. Even my bloody e-mail is down, so I can't even tell everyone there are problems.
I've had enough.
Our two-year contract with them runs out in April: we're moving to another host. And quite frankly, after the appalling service they've charged us a lot of money for over the last two years, I'd suggest anyone else tempted to to give them a try think very carefully first.
Just watched Minority Report on dvd. It's been a looooooong time since a film had me - literally - on the edge of my seat. Wonderful stuff! (I'm undecided as to whether the ending was a bit of a cop out - but it would have been so unsatisfying to have had it end any other way I won't quibble...)
I shall now code and upload the next two AC chapters. >;-D
Thursday, January 23, 2003
[sinks head in hands] Ken wants us (i.e. me) to make the Bristol InterLETS site accessible for people with disabilities. I have no problem with this, I originally designed it to be very simple (I mean easy to use) anyway, and it already meets most of the basic Web Accessibility Initiative requirements. (I think. I haven't had time yet to trawl through the site, it's huge.) So I went hunting more information...
I'm supposed to be using style sheets. No problem, I use them anyway. But I'm also supposed to be using html, so that browsers (or individuals, or software) that can't read CSS can still access the site. Contradictory? Yes. And I'm not even going to mention the joys of coding an aural style sheet. And as for tables... "Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized" - tables must 'transform gracefully' to be accessible to screen readers, it seems.
And I thought having to use three separate pieces of code to make my background tiles static (for most but not all browsers) was a trial!
Ken also wants the site to be in frames. There's a whole load of other problems associated with that.
Yes, this is an excellent idea and I'd love to be able to do it - but my time is limited... I think my best bet is to bear the issues in mind, organise crib sheets for myself, then use Bobby to check I've got it right.
... I'll worry about frames tomorrow...
By the way, is anyone else having trouble accessing keenspace?
Labels: client sites
Ah, Talon, that's half the beauty of this community, being able to be honest about what you think and feel and not having other people - who think and feel the opposite! - take offence. Rare tolerance, and such a wonderful thing.
I feel wrung out and aching all over, and I have to be up early (5 and a half hours time). But I've now written eight pages of the next AC and it's nearly finished, I think. I should certainly be able to wrap it up tomorrow. Then as soon as it and Lutra's next are posted, we start a new phase...
he end of this monster slowly recedes further and further into the future! Could we compete with Coronation Street? Or Neighbours? Or - dammit, what's the US equivalent? Days of Our Lives? Some very very long running soap, anyway!
On that note I told Ken tonight that I'd written the penultimate and final chapters to the AC and will code and upload them to the site soonish, and made him promise that if anything should happen to me (not for one moment that I think it will...) before I'd/we'd finished writing it, he'd open the links and email everyone anyway. I really don't like leaving business unfinished. (Besides, the last two chapters are lovely...)
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
So, after a day of extreme ups and downs, I sat trying to get my head back into writing mode... I'm five and a half pages into the next AC and a further chapter planned, Business pt 3 (I think a step back and review of everything that's happened recently might be in order - and there's a lot of background stuff that hasn't been mentioned...), hoping to finish and post at the weekend...
Ken had announced, earlier, that CNX - the new channel that started back in October 02 and is the only place you can find DBZ over here - was finally due to start screening in March. Great. We've already missed nearly three months... Then he did something unusual - started flicking through the channels. And found CNX. Yes, as usual TeleWest had their programme info wrong - it actually started screening here on Monday. Doesn't help that it's channel 148, while all the other anime/cartoon channels are in the 700s, and CNX was supposed be on 904 (which is actually Radio Channel BBC 3. Confused? Nah. I live here...).
And what's the first thing we catch? Bloody Gundam Wing!!!
I loathe Gundam Wing. It's not the series' fault, really, some of it's quite pretty (see, I have watched it, I'm not being bloody-minded. And Zechs is cute...). To start with I can't stand mecha anyway. But the voice actors are too old, too wooden, and half of them sound bored to death. And I find the characters incredibly irritating (except perhaps Quatre. And Zechs.) All in all I not only switch off, I switch over when it's on.
But it was OK tonight, it was time for Kai to go to bed anyway. By the time I came back down, Outlaw Star was about to start. I'd heard about it, but this was the first chance I've had to see it. Heh, it's at least as sexist as I'd heard: I don't think I'll bother in future. However, right afterwards....
Cowboy Bebop. Ep 8 - Waltz for Venus. Wind-chan sent me a CB video in a Yule parcel several years ago, eps 11 & 12 (Toys in the Attic and Jupiter Jazz pt 1): I was hooked from the first moment and I've been dying to find out what the deal is with Gren ever since (anyone familiar with both Cowboy Bebop and the AC will probably be able to work out why). So with a little luck I'll catch Jupiter Jazz pt 2 next week - and in the meantime I can start videoing the rest of the series. Joy! I do wish they'd give the full English Voice credits though, Sparky Thornton (Trigun's Legato Bluesummers) is listed but not who he dubbed.
DBZ is on from 13.00-14.00 every day, so I can catch that before picking up Kai (who announced he's not interested in it anymore, prefers beyblades) - I probably have an enormous amount of catching up to do, but if CNX is anything like Cartoon Network they'll show endless repeats anyway. X-Men Evolution is on at midday. Spawn is on now, another thing I've heard about but never seen.
The channel's AAA films might be worth investigating too. Though I'm not sure about the odd little cartoon snippets dubbed by kids...
All in all a fine distraction. Now if I can just focus on the events in my own continuum and get some writing done...
Lutra, you're welcome any time. All friends are. Just give me a few minutes' notice.
Ray's headband and the cloth binding his hair were sliced off in tonight's battle. Ye gods, that mane... I videoed the ep. Carol, can you bring your digital camera with you next time you're over? >;-D
Heh - what a way to start the day...
I'd just cleared down my emails, checked the daily online manga and blogs (more in a mo, onna) and was about to start writing when Ken hastened downstairs and said, "Someone's leaning over the wall from the PDSA: their cat's jumped into our garden." (The PDSA=People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, animal charity. The local pet hospital backs onto our property.)
Hasty closing of our catflap, Quyn in his basket, me hurrying up the garden... The girl said the cat's name is Jasmine: she was limping and she did not want to be caught. She slunk over to the wall into the lane (runs between the houses further up from us: if she'd got in there we'd never have caught her) - then one of those stupid but fortuitous things happened. I hadn't closed the door properly: Quyn came howling up the garden - and Jasmine froze. Quyn didn't spot her, and went back indoors as ordered (Ken shut the door) - and the cat came towards me... Well, I managed to catch her. I have bleeding scratches down my hands and wrists and across my shoulder (anticipated, it's not the first time I've had to catch an escaped cat), but we did finally get her into one of our own cat baskets. The girl came round, and has taken Jasmine off to the vet (in our basket: no way did we want to risk transferring Jasmine to her own!!) - she's just brought it back (and Jasmine's fine, had a thorn in her paw, now removed and a course of anti-biotics prescribed. And she clawed the vet too!)
I've slathered the scratches with witch-hazel (stings!!) and will use honey later - they'll be OK. The main problem is she took an inch long chunk (literally) out of the side on my right hand (the edge of the mount of the moon for the palmists amongst you!) - right where I rest my hand on my tablet: that's going to make work fun for the next few days...
Still, the important thing is she's safe. And luckily I didn't make her leg worse - I just had to grab and hold what I could...
So - Onna...
I don't think I could live without ICQ! But I can't use AIM - half the time AIM Express won't even let me in (I won't download the home version: last time I tried it seemed to act like a virus and spewed chunks of emails in preparation to random email addresses for me, very embarrassing... It doesn't seem to like Eudora...) I'm using an old version of ICQ, though. I was going to upgrade until I learned that AOL took over ICQ and have - apparently, I'm only going by what I've read - now included some sort of spyware with the ICQ software...
Nothing's ever straightforward any more, is it?
In Praise of Potatoes...
(I'm assuming Martha Stewart is the American version of Fanny Craddock. The list of tips is certainly very Fanny and Johnny, from what I've seen of ancient film clips...)
Hn.... must try that Martha Stewart 'apple in the potato bag' tip. I won't have instant potato (Smash it's called over here) in the house - vile stuff, tastes nothing like real potato to me. (sorry GoodTwin, I know you use it, but you have a good excuse...) I like real potato. Fluffy baked potato dripping with butter and prawns in thousand island dressing... or melting Emmenthal cheese... or chopped spicy cajun chicken... or mushrooms fried in garlic butter... dammit, I'm hungry now!
And how could I make my patented Potato Soup without real potatoes!? [Cue quick recipe: saute peasant-chopped bacon, onion and garlic in large saucepan, add (instant) chicken stock, fill pan with peeled diced potatoes and sliced Cumberland sausage, season with freshly ground black pepper, ground nutmeg and fresh basil and top up with water, simmer gently until cooked and thick and smelling irresistible and serve with sliced hot crusty buttered baquette... minimal preparation, cooks itself unattended, and lasts about five minutes in this house if you're lucky, regardless how much I make...]
But does this mean I'm not a 'Real Woman'? (Worried of Briz....)
[shakes head.... I think I'm overtired....]
... and I've finished writing the first part of it. Though it may be too short, I'm not completely sure how long Ashe wants it to be...
Labels: CCO 808
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
'ooray, finally found what I've written of the short story for the CyberAge fanzine. And to my embarrassment it was where it was supposed to be - only not with a sensible and easily recognisable title...
Labels: CCO 808
[snarl] For the first time ever I was actually rude to a cold caller. I'm usually brusque but not rude, but I am completely pissed off with people ringing me up - at teatime when things are hectic - claiming I recently filled in a customer survey form saying I'd be interested in reducing my mortgage payments. Firstly, I haven't filled in one of the bloody things in over a year and half, and as I snapped to the woman who tried to tell me that these surveys may be 18 months old, as far as I'm concerned "recently" means within the last three months: and secondly, I am not stupid enough to discuss my financial matters over the phone. If I want to reduce my mortgage payments I will do so in person with the lending institution involved...
Hn... ANYway... Onna and the Hyoujin...
Zaheen's eyes: beautiful colour, and the pupils are perfect. I'd envisaged the iris taking up more of the eye, though, leaving only a very thin white rim - more like a cat's eye, even though that does restrict eye movement/vision slightly... perhaps split the difference, increase the iris by a little but leave a fair bit of white?
GoodTwin has replied to my comment about the train tickets and their apparent lack of existence...
Of course they exist. They're freely available to one-eyed dwarves with a wooden leg who want to travel at exactly 11.13 on the Feast of Hodgepig Day...
Heh - we know a song about that! >;-D
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Ken woke early and decided to treat me to a lie in and take Kai to school. Unfortunately I didn't know about this, so I woke early too and couldn't get back to sleep. Feel tired now, but I really don't want to spare the time to nap.
Still, we re-installed the printer: last night it squealed at me and came to a stop, refusing to paperfeed, and when I unjammed it it printed out the second page with huge type at the top and bottom. Rebooting didn't work, but it's fine now. (Discovered it was Eudora causing the problem...) And I've just had an email from WessexTrains... They're advertising £5 tickets between any two stations on their network - and Bristol and Southampton are on their network. I was going to use the train to get Kai and myself back from Carol's end of February. However, their online booking didn't give me the £5 option on any of the days I tried - so I emailed them to ask why not? The reply is a simple standard letter saying to book online and ring them (at national rates, of course) for more complex enquiries. Sod that - we'll get the bus, it's more reliable. (Personally I'm not convinced these special fares actually exist anyway...)
[*sigh*] Oh great - Blogger's down...
Monday, January 20, 2003
The mehendi I had done on Saturday - not the best of scans but then, I couldn't lie the thing completely flat!
What I don't understand is why this mehendi is getting darker as time goes by. It's twice as dark as when I first flaked off the henna paste. Even Ken commented on it...
Speaking of Ken, I mentioned your blog comment, onna, and he says -
"Well, a lapful of strange women would be preferable to anyone trying to scan my eyes..."
So I guess it's OK!!
Lutra's feeling restless, and so am I. Problem is it's a bit late for me to do anything about it! Tch' - vague feeling of dissatisfaction... possibly because I took a cycle's nap while dinner was cooking, which has thrown the body-clock into mild disarray again... Or maybe with Schism... We - well, I, at any rate - was trying to present two contrasting points of view, the very personal and the much broader social angle, but (as Lutra said) it still comes out sounding as though it's all Mahrayne's fault. Which it isn't: in effect it's mostly Kelapa's fault, she knew the consequences even if Mahrayne didn't. (I should add that Lutra actually wrote the end section of this chapter back in June of last year: it's been planned for quite some time!) And my sympathies are, naturally, with the family, no matter how objective I try to be. Heh, the resolution of this whole situation is going to be interesting!
We watched The Haunting tonight - a fine horror film! Not much can make me jump (well, Ken tapping me on the shoulder when I'm immersed in writing while wearing headphones will do it) but this did. And great special effects.
[lassooed on onna's blog]
Laughs to self, thinking if we all get to rendevous in the future Ken would have a lapful of strange women looking into his eyes. And he would probably just "hate' that, right?
Yep, he'd hate it! >;-D
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Sunday, January 19, 2003
Forgot to say...
Walking back home from school on Friday, Kai announced he wanted to have a good look at mine and Ken's eyes... This is, I believe, partly due to him going through an interesting phase at the moment where he's trying to work out what makes him, him, rather than anyone else. (So far we've discussed the nature of the 'self' - I can't use 'soul' or 'divine spark' because of the connotations, but you know what I mean - re-incarnation, Tir N'an Og (aka The Summerlands), the perception of 'god' in different religions, heaven, and personal responsibility for one's self. He's fascinated by the whole vast subject...)
When it comes to eyes, he's been wondering about what it's like to see out of someone else's (in part sparked by our discussing how different people 'see' differently, not just their mental perception of things, but also the physical fact that people's eyes and brains are different, and see even simple primary colours differently. I won't go into the chats we've had about seeing into the infra-red and ultra-violet...) The first step - in Kai's opinion - is to look at other people's eyes.
(At this point I should mention that Ken has perhaps the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen. They're bright summer morning blue, with the most incredible silver-outlined 'petal' shapes in the irises, looping around the pupils like silver paths in a formal maze. When the light hits them obliquely they're a pure turquoise, exactly the colour of Vash's eyes, quite stunning. I've spent a lot of time in the past just looking at them...)
So Kai and I stopped so he could have a look at mine...
They're green - a fairly nondescript darkish jade colour most of the time, though they go a lightish grey-green colour when I feel ill. There's a very small, irregular inner ring of amber around my pupils, and an outer ring of dark grey-green. I love the fact that they're green, but apart from that I've never thought there's anything that special about them.... Heh, until Kai grinned at me and said
"It looks like you have caterpillars crawling in them!"
And d'you know, he's right? The striations do look kind of like fuzzy green caterpillars.
Well, caterpillars turn into butterflies or moths: both are beautiful... Hn... I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned there, somewhere... >;-D
[lassooed on onna's blog]
I believe a snuggy is where someone comes up behind you, grabs ahold of your underwear waistband and pulls up hard, causing the undies to go into your butt crack, and in the case of women, 'other', more delicate places. Let's just say the sensation is painful at worse and uncomfortable at least.
Ahah! We call 'em wedgies...
And I too have worn a real tutu. A [*wince*] pale pink satin and tulle one, back when I was studying classical ballet... I have the photos somewhere under lock and key...
Uplighter lampshade... Imagine a Chinese 'coolie' hat, made of heavy pleated fabric/paper, turned upside down, and hooked onto the light fitting so as to cover the bulb. Light bounces off the inside and reflects off the ceiling - soft and indirect light rather than harsh direct illumination. (There are a number of different varieties in different materials, but that's the basic design.)
[Pats Talon] I know I'm not exactly the best person to give advice on sleep, but try and get some rest? If you can?
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Knackered - that was hectic.
And a lot of fun! Traded a lot, spent a whole load of spans, have some ideas for redecorating our bedroom: Kai made some new friends, beybladed with some other youngsters and did a large drawing of his idea for a new launcher. I won a treatment session (my choice of Indian head massage, metamorphic therapy, reflexology or reiki) in the raffle. And I'm trying to leave the henna paste on my left hand as long as possible (it's a cute dragon mehendi: I'll try to scan it later) to get the colour as deep as I can. Altogether a fun afternoon...
Tiring though. If I didn't have so much to catch up on I'd be tempted to have an early night. Still, Armageddon is on later, nice mindless background bubble gum for the brain with some pretty FX... Ken's into it - about all he feels up to right now.
Tomorrow I'm having a lie in...
Labels: days out
It's astonishing how a very little thing can make such a big difference to one's quality of life.
I've wanted to buy an 'uplighter' lampshade for the lounge for ages (old house, single central lightfitting in each room, no cash to have anything more sophisticated done - professionally, anyway, and I'm wary of mucking around with electrics...) I love the old lampshade (which was my parents' and is older than me!) but it really made the light in the lounge horribly stark. But uplighter shades start at around £18 here (heh, that's enough to feed us for three days!) so I haven't splashed out. Then on the way back from collecting Kai from school we dived into the local cat charity shop (not the CPL, sorry Carol...) They had a cream-coloured uplighter there. For £1.50.
It won't take the eco-bulbs we have in the rest of the house, unfortunately, but I think we can forgive ourselves the compromise, because the room glows with the most beautiful, warm, golden light (reflected off the old-gold-painted ceiling). It changes the whole look of the place! It's... it's... lovely in there now!! (And it shouldn't give you any more headaches, Adrian!) Chuffed? Damn right I am.
Onna, gorgeous cap of Hiro... I do like Hiro.... I took some time out tonight to listen to the Gravitation songs I have on mp3 (many thanks Talon!), through headphones to get the best effect, with the romaji lyrics in front of me. Heh, I even managed to sing along a little (mostly the choruses, no surprise there!) - until I got to Shining Collection. Ye gods I love that song - but I'd be hard pushed to sing that fast in English, let alone Japanese!
Though I can, just, manage the chorus.
There's something very cute about the way even the English words sound so foreign as to be almost incomprehensible! Then again, I'd defy any nihonjin to be able to understand my fledgling nihongo...
The joint AC chapter currently stands at 20 pages, and it's not quite finished yet. I keep getting flashes of insight as to the ramifications of the action in this chapter, which will affect future chapters for a while, I think.
Gary, you'll probably read this before we can email you. Thanks for the info: I'll check up Ambien on the 'net - but Ken absolutely hates taking medication of any kind (heh, another reason why this course is such a bloody pain!) so even if it is OK with the other drugs he's on it may take a concerted course of nagging from me to get him to take it! We'll see how it goes... Hope the presentation goes well. [Goes without saying we loathe and abhor the company it's for, but when have we ever let that stand in the way of friendship?! >;-D Is there anything exciting/interesting to do in Atlanta?]
Kai's asleep on my side of the bed, stretched out with his arms flung above his head. It's such a trusting, vulnerable position... at his age I was sleeping curled into a tight ball on my side, facing away from the door. I'm so happy he doesn't feel the need to protect himself here. We must be doing something right!
Friday, January 17, 2003
Is not the heart to believe in..?
...Sailors dance in a trance on the ocean,
[*happy sigh*] A little while back Adrian backed up some of my precious original Tyrannosaurus Rex LPs to cd - purely so that I can keep these damn-near pristine original sleeved thick black plastic - sorry, vinyl - collector's items safe while I enjoy the music, you understand...
I'd forgotten how amazing some of the tracks are. The lyrics at top, there, are from the Pilgrim's Tale, one of my all-time favourite songs. It's 2 minutes long. It embodied life's adventure for me waaaay back when I was very young. It still has pretty much the same effect now. Does this mean a) I haven't grown up, or b) I had a mature perception even as a child? Do I really care? Nope!
Tonight I finally found the lyrics to Wind Cheetah on the 'net. I am not going to say how many years I've been searching for them...
...fields arched with orchids, blooms of the stars...
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Now, I know I have trouble with numbers, and haddock is at best a moveable feast, but do the last two entries really say that time was going backwards? That the first one was posted at 12.35pm and the second an hour earlier at 11.04 pm? Have I cracked the problem of time travel or am I seeing things? Or is it just the Blogger software having a headfit...?
Review of The Far-Enough Window finished and emailed off and onna's gorgeous pic now posted in Contemplation. Just out of curiosity I checked Google to see if there was an entry for Devon Welsh, and to my surprise there is - the biog I wrote for him for Purgatory. However, if you go back to the main page (in the address bar) it brings you to a badpuppy login page. Purgatory is hosted on badpuppy, which is a pay-to-view site, but it's also archived (for free) on a geocities page. Which isn't listed in the search engines! Just thought I'd mention...
I've invested my Amazon.com commission gift voucher in a copy of the How to Draw Manga: Couples book onna has been praising... I'd love to be able to draw decent couples for the AC...
Bratling is now fascinated by vortices - and passionate about tornadoes. I even had to light some of my Japanese 'Fallen Leaves' incense for him to watch the patterns the smoke makes. Hn. Tornadoes, beyblades, disk drives... there's a pattern here, they all rotate, at speed. Be interesting to see how far this fascination affects his choice of career!
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
[miraculously self-reconstituted from puddle of goo - though it was a close thing, and another peek at the pic will result in meltdown again...]
OK onna - here you go...
Her name is Zaheen Shan-Ikar-Chen of the Hyou (personal name Zaheen (Urdu for intelligent: parents name their children for qualities they hope they will embody. And it usually works!), of the Shan line (her mate will add this name to his own on joining with her), Ikar family, Chen 'superfamily', Hyou 'tribe'. Yes, it's a mouthful. The matriarchy is very concerned with keeping tabs on who is who. She's a respected xenologist (and therefore a natural choice for this mission, given how cosmopolitan Vejiitasei has become since Vejiita founded the Empire). I think, since you like purple, she should have brilliant purple eyes. She's not at all happy to be chosen: she was in the middle of her own research project at the time, and she's not at all impressed with what she knows of the Saiya-jin. In general, the Hyoujin feel themselves very superior to the monkeys. [Evil grin] I have a surprise in store for her, and the readers...
Soon, I promise...
And thanks for the Juicy, and all the vidcaps! I'm posting my favourite one here -
Pettable is right... Yumm...
It's quite amazing - we're five pages into the second joint chapter already! And I'm finally going to make a start on that Side Story I promised waaaay back, about Cendawan, Radittsu and Hijau...
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Onna sent me her latest picture this morning. Radittsu and Jeice, from the AC chapter Contemplation.
Onna, how am I supposed to get anything done if I'm a melted puddle of goo?
[wanders off to gaze again, sniffling >8-} ...]
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Monday, January 13, 2003
YAY! Devon finally makes an entrance in Purgatory!
Purgatory is the name of the mammoth literary original yaoi RPG I was invited to join last year. Devon Welsh is the name of my character. If anyone wants to meet the cute but vicious and foul-mouthed little sod, email me for the URL...
And then I found this >;-D...
I'm possessed. I invited Raoul into my head so I could write Lull and now he's refusing to leave. Poor guy. I suppose he appreciated the attention. Heh, I may have to write more AnK to persuade him to go. But not right now, too much else to do. In the meantime, well, there are worse things than having a gorgeous biseinen camping out in your mind...
Blogging in Bits...
(and posting in portions)
First off - thanks folks, Juicys is great!
Lull is now ready for coding, but I need a new background tile and right this minute I'm supposed to be writing the review of The Far-Enough Window. I'll get the fic uploaded later tonight, along with a link to a synopsis of the story on which it's based for those people (I assume an awful lot since it's not at all readily available) who haven't seen/don't have access to the anime.
Quick answers to onna:
Your ideas about the culture are great, and if you don't mind I'll adapt - or use them as a starting point - for the species. Thanks for the pics of snow leopards too - that first one is beautiful and exactly what I envisage when I think of the animal. As to whether Tane and Dari get to play... let's see how it goes...
Heh - I think that's it for now. I'm half way through the review, plotting more of the second AC joint chapter (should have something for you by the time you get up in the morning, Lutra), and still struggling with that new second chapter of FirstLight. Haddock, I need more haddock. Dammit, I haven't even had haddock to spork JJ for the next part of Alternative Arrangements yet! Clones, I need clones - a TARDIS - immortality...
Labels: Alliance Chronicles
Please, onna, anything but jawbreakers... You have no idea how much I loathe Ed, Edd and Eddie...
Bigger blog tomorrow. For now, Lull (the Ai no Kusabi short) is finished and I'm at the moment writing more Daemon/Devon lemon with Reshenna on ICQ...
Sunday, January 12, 2003
Ever have one of those evenings when everything suddenly fails to make any sense whatsoever? Reality skews and continuua collide and you sit in the middle of it all boggling at explosions of surreality?
Well, I'm having one of those.
It's quite pretty, actually.
Saturday, January 11, 2003
[Lassooed on onna's blog]
OHkay... (rolls up sleeves and gets serious)
Right - these are very basic first ideas that will doubtless develop as the thread is interwoven into the main narrative. For now, let me introduce the Hyoujin, natives of Zaisan, soon to request membership of the Saiya-jin Empire. A hi-tech society, particularly noted for their advances in interstellar travel, their homeworld is on the edge of Karilun space and threatened by the Karilun Empire: becoming a member of the Saiya-jin Empire both protects them and allows the Saiyans an observation point closer to the elder Empire than any so far gained.
The Hyoujin evolved from cats. Bodies lean and sleek, covered with short, dense fur (lighter and sparser on belly and face), long arms and legs, long expressive tails. Walk is a graceful lope, leaning forwards slightly, tail outstretched for balance. Rectractable claws on hands and feet, star shaped pupils in large eyes, voluntarily controlled nictating eyelid. High cheekbones, large cat-like ears, small noses (more human looking than the average cat, I think), mouths mobile, upper lip less 'split' than a true cat, lower lip more human than cat. Pelts are patterned according to clan and family (see below)
It's a matriarchal society split into large 'clans' - the Raionu (lions), Torai (tigers), Hyou (leopards) - each of which is split further into families. Generally speaking, the Raionu tend towards admin and business, the Torai comprise the manual workers (which includes the military), while the Hyou are the academics and scientists. (Yes, I know it's predictable and all been done before but it fits with my continuum...) They are all luxury-loving and appreciate art.
Onna, I'd like for your character to have the larger, heavier tail and markings of a terrestrial snow-leopard, colouring pale but not necessarily white. Do you have any preference? I see her as not having any sort of mane, just slightly thicker fur over her head and neck, but I really don't mind if you want something longer and heavier (if she (I assume you want a female chara?) is from the colder lands she could quite legitimately have a luxurious mane). She's a researcher seconded (somewhat reluctantly - she doesn't want to be here) into the diplomatic mission (I'll work out why later).
She needs a name. Native language is soft and purring/mewing - do you want to devise one or shall I?
She'll make an appearance soon...
Deliberate tease... Lutra and I are planning a Gravitation pwp, with Lutra writing one character and me another (not going to tell you who, though!) The basics are mostly worked out: we just need some space and time to write it...
The Ai no Kusabi pwp went well last night. I'm hoping to finish it tonight for perusal by the usual. Assuming I can type around the Saiyan and neko curled up in my lap, that is...
And yes - chuffed means 'happy' in a quiet sort of 'big beaming grin and hugging yourself' sort of way. A step up from simply 'pleased', but not quite as OTT as 'ecstatic'. A more cuddly form of 'delighted'. Shall I shut up now? >8-D
It's coming up to redecorating time. I've been putting it off for the last couple of years, but I really can't wait much longer. The lounge needs doing (think I'll go for old gold this time), our bedroom, the bathroom (which will stay blue and gold), and Kai wants a new mural on his bedroom walls: he's tired of mountains. Thinks Waterfall City (from Dynotopia) would be a good idea, as long as it has Zippo in it. And he wants a cabin bed, one of those metal framed ones with a desk underneath and a futon that folds out for overnighting friends. I'm toying with the idea of Waterfall City on his room's 'outside' wall, and Canyon City on the 'inside' wall, then he can pretend his bed is one of the Canyon dwellings and look down on Waterfall City. (Inaccurate geography but who cares?) I'll have to calculate the coverage and price up paint (for all my ineptitude with numbers, I've never had a problem when it comes to geometry!) If it works, I'll post photos here...
Heh - better go throw dinner in the oven...
Tch - just realised the last few entries are misleading....
My mum sent us a cheque for us to buy the mattress we wanted. The fact that mattress tech has changed enormously and doesn't fit our sheets is not her fault!
Dancing hippos, eh, onna? Well, if you insist, I can devise you a hippo-like alien species... >;-P
At ten a.m. the phone rang: it was the delivery men from Dreams, apologising that they'd had problems with the van and were running late, but would be with us in fifteen minutes. Well, given we'd been told we'd get an a.m. call telling us whether the delivery would be morning or afternoon, this was not a problem as far as I was concerned. Sure enough, fifteen minutes later the mattress arrived... Fineagling it up the stairs was fun (the delivery men offered but I said we'd cope: too many breakables within reach and they were in a hurry since they were running late) but we managed - luckily it isn't too heavy.
It is, however, twice as deep as the old one - the bloody fitted sheets don't fit properly! I can see the fun that's going to cause, with the corners creeping loose in the night...
[off at a tangent] Something occurred to me while we were struggling to make the bed. I only ever wear black, green and silver - well, OK, on rare occasions grey and/or purple - but nearly all our bedding is blue and gold. This blog is essentially blue and gold too - I pondered changing the colours but decided not to, I like it as it is. And this liking for blue and gold dates waaaay back: looking over old artwork (heh, and more recent artwork too!) my palette has always tended towards blues and golds. It explains the liking for blue-skinned golden-eyed life-forms, admittedly - but where the hell does it come from? I'd assume from somewhere very early in this particular incarnation - except that all my family have dark brown hair and grey-blue or brownish-hazel eyes (with red-brown hair and green eyes I had to be different... I tentatively assume I take after my paternal grandfather, whose surname was MacKenzie. And that's about all we know about him.) And the first bedroom I remember was yellow. I assume I was dressed in pink, since that was traditional, but I don't remember. When I was old enough to have colour preferences they were always greens, purples (rich deep purples, none of this pretty mauve stuff!), turquoise and (less importantly) blues - kingfisher and peacock blues, mostly. Heh, it's a mystery... [cue dreadful Toyah Wilcox impersonation...]
ANYway... sleeping higher off the ground is going to throw my kinaesthetic sense off-kilter for a while, even without the sheer unfamiliar comfort of the mattress. I shall be most dischuffed if I fall out of bed... Actually, given where my bedside cabinet is, I shall be concussed if I fall out of bed...
I've made a start on the Ai no Kusabi short that was nagging me. It's going well so far, but it's another first person one, and they always require a little more concentration - if only to get the speech patterns right! Hoping to have it finished over the weekend...
Thursday, January 09, 2003
Look what I've found...
Gravitation, Trigun, DBZ... lyrics in romaji, English, even the kanji for some. Heh, now I can sing along and know both what I should be singing and what it means!
I have been thoroughly spoilt today.
To start with, Ken woke up with the alarm, announced he'd slept nine hours straight (first time since starting the medication) and if I wanted a lie-in he'd take Kai to school! Not being one to refuse such an offer I promptly went back to sleep (yes, I was so tired even the mattress didn't keep me awake. And on that note, tonight's the last night for sleeping on thinly covered springs. Mum's bought us a new mattress as a New Year present: it arrives tomorrow. Thanks mum - it's much appreciated. Well, it will be once we've got used to sleeping on it!)
Then there was the post...
In amongst the usual junk mail was a package for Ken with two library copies of Prediction magazine. He wrote an Early Heaven piece for the publication, and they've used it as the featured article in the latest edition - we're dead chuffed.
[=BOUNCE=] A parcel for me with the Phantom of the Paradise DVD in it! [glomps onna] Thank you so much. I know you were worried that I wouldn't be able to play a Region 1 disc over here, but the multi-region Pioneer DVD player is everything it claimed to be and the disc was perfect. It was such fun to watch it again, the quality wonderful and the sound crystal. A real cult classic! And Happy Birthday, onna!
A little later Quyn started barking furiously at the door - and there stood a man with a parcel...
It was the Yule parcel from Wind-chan, the Iridescent Dragon of the Centre! (a.k.a. my friend and fellow-Lexxian Shannon in Florida. Zone members may have read her two Yu Yu Hakusho stories there: she's also a Souryuden and Lexx fan...) Big box of Royal Chocolate Truffles and the Lilo and Stitch video for us all, beaded headband, green and purple hair ornaments, hanging manatee fragrancer and gardenia fragrance oil (one of my favourites: the house smells wonderful!), and some of the most gorgeous handcream I've ever felt - mango and mandarin anti-bacterial moisturising lotion from the Bath and Body Works. It smells like summer...
Kai had his own pile of presents - a Driger F beyblade (already assembled and in use!), Amerindian dances info and colouring book, two T-shirts (Florida Dolphins and 'Dragons Down Under' Florida Aquarium) and Bob the micropet (he's wanted one since he saw them advertsised on TV). One absolutely delighted bratling! Now I have to sit him down to email his thanks...
If you're reading this, Shannon, many, many thanks: I'll email later. And Gwen is the compleat young horsewoman on Strutz (what a handsome animal!)
And Lutra has started a a new story for her Dystopia continuum (in the Darkside), inspired by a postcard onna sent! A real treat... [There, Lutra - now you can't escape, you have to finish it... >;-P ]
I bought this card in Trowbridge when Carol drove us there last autumn, and couldn't resist scanning and posting it here. Click on the pic to visit the Dick Lexic site - but please be warned, the material there is mostly adult. Very very funny (the Dick and Fanny cards are hysterical!), and not particularly graphic, but definitely adult.
For once I tried the quizzes on Lutra's blog. My Dungeons and Dragons type is Neutral Good, Elf (no problem there as long as I can look like Legolas... or Rayek), primary and secondary classes Ranger and Druid. And I'd be 'embraced' by the Ventrue ('You can be rather dominant with a high stamina however, you tend to have obsessive compulsive tendencies...especially when it comes to your food. You are the clan the others look to organize groups and factions. Generally princes are among this clan.') Tch - I'm not obsessive, just thorough...
I have a hankering to write a Iason and Raoul pwp...
I have a problem with the name Bob. It always makes me think of that Blackadder second series episode... can't remember the name... y'know the one, young lass from the country dresses up as a boy and goes to London to try to earn enough to keep mad elderly father, calls herself Bob, Edmund falls in love with her (while still thinking she's a boy)...
Sunday, January 05, 2003
Grieving in Silence
Wednesday, January 01, 2003
There are few things worse than being completely helpless to change the past.
I found out last night that Erin (Alithiel) died in a car crash on December 27th. Many people reading this will know her as the author of Shadow of the Past and as a very accomplished artist, although she also wrote Final Fantasy and Trigun fanfiction - Touching is a wonderful story, a favourite of mine. The maturity of Erin's deft and compelling characterisations, poignant insight into the minds of her characters, and sensitive use of language makes her work a joy to read: it was a real pleasure to be used as a sounding board for her stories.
Already enormously talented, she had so much potential. It's an appalling, senseless, stupid tragedy. The world's lost a fine artist, skilled writer and musician. I've lost a friend.
Fly high, Alithiel. I'll miss you.
Well, Bristol looked and sounded like a war zone for 20 minutes, but the fireworks were pretty... Kai's knackered and asleep in my side of the bed (that'll be fun when I go up!)... Carol has removed the bloody Xupiter toolbar software from my computer (and I've complained to Norton and Grisoft that it should be registered as a virus)... the bibbles were tasty!
And this is where the bibbles lived (before we ate them..)
Now we chill out with Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack and a little cider... It's been a strange year, an amazing mix of good and bad. Very productive, though not very profitable. The possibility of a cure for Ken's Hep C - through a course of treatment that makes him feel worse than the disease. The loving closeness and support of old friends, and the quiet stimulation of new. New interests, new skills - and new worries, of course, there has to be balance. But all in all a good year. Much accomplished, plans made for the future, bonds reinforced and determined hope for what's to come.
Labels: Happy New Year