Archive for May, 2011

just remind me

Is this the future where it turns out I am actually a replicant too? I can never remember.

ETA: Jeremy says “I always just assumed you were a replicant.” (That’s okay; I quite like boys with robot fetishes.)

five things make a thing made up of five things

1. It turns out that the reason it’s taken me this long to try to download audio books to my phone is because libraries have been tragically afflicted with an evil crippleware proprietary standard! Luckily there is also MP3, but establishing the extreme wrongness of WMA took a couple of hours of my life I will never see again. REVENGE.

2. Finally got off my ass and gave blood this morning. There’s a center right near Montgomery Station, and this morning I was the only donor there. They’ll disqualify you if you’ve ever so much as given the stinkeye to a British cow, which is ridic, but if you are as un-tattooed and monogamous and straight-acting and only-travelling-in-the-First-World, that is to say, if you are as BORING as me, go bleed into a bag. They give you muffins.

3. Last Friday morning I got to have a look at Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard’s offices, preserved exactly as they were when H and P retired, all Mad Men with wood panelling and windows onto a Japanese garden. Then I drove back to the city, where Liz gave me a guided tour of the Noisebridge hackerspace and I examined a Makerbot that was busy making new Makerbots. San Francisco is amazing.

4. The photos of Queen Elizabeth in Ireland are very strange to me for lots of reasons. The Queen looks more and more like my mother as she ages, to the point that the picture of her speaking in Dublin Castle actually raises recognition-hackles on the back of my neck; I have my own very vivid memories of the Book of Kells and Croke Park and the National Stud, and I don’t think I have ever seen the Queen in a place where I have been before; and I know enough history that my entire sympathies are with the protestors, with the security guards and the police, and with the Queen.

5. This week I like this Janelle Monae song, this Janelle Monae song (with a surprise cameo by Claude Debussy), this Olof Arnalds song (with a surprise cameo by Bjork), The Comic Book Guide to the Mission, Inside Wikileaks and, always, the great Ta-Nehisi Coates.

possible first line

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a girl in possession of a retirement-level liquidity event must be in want of a tax shelter.

the adventures of pink tiger and princess, or, have you seized enough day today?

Saturday was epic: wushu, then Fairmount Fiestaval, then a dentist’s appointment, then the library. We were received with amused delight everywhere:

…which was great fun right up until their swim lesson, when the paint got washed off but on the bright side, Julia earned her red ribbon. Their swim school is wonderful at providing these regular positive reinforcements for swims well swum. As part of my program of feigning maternal competence, I have all their ribbons pinned to a notice board in the living room. The new ribbon was pinned up with great ceremony.

Then I abandoned the children with their father and put on a little black dress and went to Writers With Drinks with Rebecca and Yoz and Gilbert and Heather, which was fab. I picked up milk on the way home and was interrupted from complaining bitterly about Safeway only ever having two registers open, even when there are thirty-eight people in line, by Rocky, who is making Indian tacos at El Rio and wants to open his own place. “It’s all good,” said Rocky. “You’re right,” I said. “I totally have to seize more day.”

we have coffee at mecca in ultimo

“I just like giving pink cupcakes to Goths. It’s a very specific fetish.”

“So when you get the opportunity, you HAVE to indulge it.”


“Rule 34!”

“You totally just Googled ‘pink cupcake Goth’, didn’t you.”

“I totally did.”

i feign competence as a mother

It turns out I am a sucker for little girls who just lost their grandfather. Required to amuse the children for three hours this morning, I took them to Centennial Stables, where they had pony rides on Benji and Bonnie. Afterwards we went to a fantastically well-appointed and well-maintained playground and sat in the sun and ate ice creams. In short, I spoilt them like a freakin’ aunt or something. (Sydney turned into Paradise while my back was turned. One side-effect of the resources boom is a state that can spend mouth-watering amounts of money on its infrastructure. The very bathrooms in Centennial Park are sleek and modern and clean.)

Later, when the clouds rolled in and the wind grew chill, Claire searched the apartment in vain for her favourite striped cardigan. Jeremy, Janny and I joined in the search, but it was nowhere to be found. I get very anxious about lost things these days. In the evening, after I had retrieved my mother from Central Station, I borrowed a [torch|flashlight] from Jan and hiked back to a different playground that we had visited yesterday, after lunch with Kay and Kelso. On my second circuit of the park, the torchlight picked out the cardigan carefully laid out on the brick wall, waiting for me to find it. The world is full of people who are thoughtful and kind.

keep the aspidistra flying

Since we were last here, Jan has had the awful teal carpet taken up and replaced with golden wooden floors, and has redone the kitchen. We collectively agonized for one million billion years about what colour the kitchen should be, and eventually settled on… white. It looks fantastic. The house is far lighter and more pleasant to hang out in. Net win.

All this work got finished in the last week or so, just in time for the wake on Friday, although this was not part of the plan, and the contractors cut a lot of the wood out on the terraces, which are surrounded by planters. The plants got covered in sawdust and needed to be cleaned before all the people come over…

…which is how I came to spend the last hour dusting a large aspidistra.

Do you want to hear a silly-me story? ‘Course you do, why else would you come here? In January Qantas cancelled its direct flights between Sydney and San Francisco. I took this as a personal affront and sulked for a day and a half. And now Virgin has announced that it is taking over the route, so all the emotional energy I put into that sulk went down the drain and I can have my direct flights anyway. Someone remind me next time, or don’t, since I find that sort of thing annoying.

I loved Richard very much.