Rachel's Blog Rachel's Blog: Life

Wed, 22 Jul 2009

There was a twitter trend I jumped on this morning that had everyone competing for the most #lameclaimtofame

I posted this one

and then realised, as a few comments came in, that it was somewhat unrepresentative.

But whaddyaknow someone's put my Sportsgirl ad on Youtube.

Can you see me? No?

I'll let you in on the story then.

I was doing work experience on the shoot as the runner. I washed dishes, fetched beer, carried cables and stopped the pedestrian traffic while the camera was rolling. It was a freezing cold day and when someone asked me to move a jacket out of the way, I put it on. It was a huge black leather thing and I was swamped. But frankly spending a day with all these models who were being primped and fussed over at every turn I was happy to have something to hide in.

The director decided he wanted some movement in the background of one of the shots so he asked me and the stills photographer to walk along the street. We did as requested for a couple of takes and then he said, "You guys are great, you should join Actors Equity. I just need you to turn around and walk the other way."

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it really was that we were so distractingly good looking that it would have ruined the point of the advertisement. Maybe.

So there you have it. I'm the shorter of the two black blobs in the last scene, walking away from the Sportsgirl logo. My one and only appearance on national television. I told you it was a lame claim to fame.

Wed, 01 Apr 2009
Leaving on a jet plane.

In twelve hours we're getting on a plane to foreign parts. We won't be back for a couple of weeks and I'm not going to do anything email-y or blog-y or twitter-y and not even much phone-y. I won't even be using my usual mobile number. It's an old school, retro kinda trip. The kind you send postcards.

If you're going to have any parties while I'm gone, please clean up the mess before I get back.

Have a great Easter break!

Sun, 25 Jan 2009
An apology

I'm sorry, that was a horrible way to die. Flattened with no warning and no chance to say farewell to your loved ones. I hope it was painless and quick for you, squashed under the tape dispenser. I will always remember that you were large and had a white tail.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009
Cheery things.
Atheist Bus Ad

Despite a horrendous cold which is leaving me sleepless, achey and blocked, there are several things which are making me happy today.

  • The Atheist Bus Campaign
  • Totally clean loungeroom. I may never let anyone in it again. Or perhaps I could put newspaper on the floor. If I had any.
  • Freshly baked bread from the bread machine.
  • Sooooup for dinner tonight.
  • The idea I had at 3.30 this morning that continues to not suck.
  • Browsing vintage bags on Etsy.
Sat, 03 Jan 2009
Hello 2009

In 2009 I will

  • Co-run Continuum 5. It will be great. It will be in August. Expect to hear a lot more about it on this blog and elsewhere.
  • Read more fiction. Even if I have begun with a William Shatner Star Trek novel. It's terrifically awful!
  • Finish more of what I start. Does not apply to eating.
  • Consume fewer food additives which I am hoping will help me to
  • Be less grumpy.
  • Blog more.
  • Watch far less television. I was nearly going to vow not to watch any, but I really don't watch that much. I think I'm just going to cut out everything broadcast on commercial tv. Which I think was only So You Think You Can Dance and the Antiques Roadshow (it's one of Abbey's favourites, honest!) last year. And leaves just Spicks and Specks and the occasional Top Gear and Food Safari episodes. They won't kill me. Of course it still leaves television acquired by, um, other methods, but I'm going to be stricter about that too. No more completing series "just because". They have to be good!

So I'm looking forward to this year. Abbey goes to prep, which she is very excited about, and we're off on an overseas jaunt later in the year too. I hope you are all going to have a fantastic 2009. Pretty sure I am.
Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2008

In 2008, I

  • Won a bunch of competitions. Books; tickets to see Edward Scissorhands (the, I kid you not,"dance-ical". It was dreadful.); and best of all, a year's supply of cat food.
  • Had my first paid publication, uh, published in Midnight Echo.
  • Read 65 books. I was aiming to read my height in books, but fell 11.5 books short. This is how I established my book-height.
    The best one I read for the year would have to be Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels. Amazing stuff. I heart it a lot. Close second would be The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. The best non-fic read in 2008 was What's Happening to Our Girls? by Maggie Hamilton. I was made nauseous by this book and had to put it down at regular intervals for some deep breathing. I don't think it's just because I have a young daughter either. It's just so different to my experiences 20 years ago.
  • Watched 91 films. I was casually aiming for 100, but not bothered at all by not getting there. A lot of those 91 I had seen before, and saw repeatedly. Best of the year, Juno, followed closely by Sweeney Todd.
  • Began reviewing episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Alisa at Shiny.
  • Wrote no book reviews (for shame!).
  • Began craft blogging at Cobalt and Cochineal. Hah! You didn't know that did you? Well, it's only new and I'm still figuring out what to put there. Apart from all the stuff I make and then give away but don't want to forget about.
  • Was grumpy a lot.

Sun, 02 Nov 2008
The Warm Fuzzies

I've had a pretty ordinary day with a splitting headache for most of it which has severely curtailed actually getting anything done. My head has cleared this evening a bit, enough to remember that I was supposed to feed my mum's cats and put out the bins while she's away. Of course I don't remember this until after dark.

So I kick and curse myself all the way over there, but as I'm pulling into the drive I see a brush-tailed possum at the foot of one of the gumtrees. My mum lives in a really bushy area so that's not uncommon to see a bit of wildlife around. Mostly, though it's big, noisy smelly possums that breakdance on the roof at night. (It must be what they're doing, it makes so much noise.)

One of the cats runs out to meet me, clearly peeved at being forgotten and I stumble into the dark house, find the food and put it out.

But the cat isn't trying to trip me over at this point, or eat my hand off the way he did yesterday. I can hear him in the hall, batting at something. "A moth," I think, and switch on the hall light.

Nope. It's a little possum. A ring-tail, which if you are not aware, are one of the kewt genus of possums. So I grab the cat (harder than simply grabbing of course, this cat is focused) and throw him into the bathroom and shut the door. I sneak past the li'l cutie again in time to see her leap from under the hall table to the underneath of an old Singer sewing machine. (I say a and not the because there happen to be many, many sewing machines in the house.)

I get a tea-towel from the kitchen so as to not get my smell on the possum (at least, I know that's what you have to do with baby birds, and it seemed a safe precaution for both our sakes) and crouched next to her. She was pretty happy clinging to the metal curlicues of the table leg and had wriggled between some. She didn't seem to be in shock and wasn't injured. I put my hand gently behind her to coax her forward. I didn't want to have to grab and drag her out backwards. She came through the metal decorations willingly enough and then leapt straight at my chest, over my shoulder and sat on my back.

There was a possum sitting on my back.

She was very light, only the size of a coffee mug, if a mug had a long tail, ears and a woffly nose. Her little claws dug into the fabric of my hoodie.

I crouched there for a minute, not sure if she was going to jump off and make a dash for the darkened lounge room. But she didn't so I slowly backed towards the front door, bent completely over, and opened it.

We went through e-v-e-r s-o s-l-o-w-l-y and I began backing down the long flight of stairs that leads to the carport. No sudden moves.

About halfway down we were within reach of a medium-sized bottlebrush and Li'l Poss made a leap for it. She scrambled up the branches and began sniffing around the flowers.

Then I breathed out.

It was time to deal with the cat. Mum has a cat flap, but it's broken and needs a nail to hold it locked. Ever tried to find a nail at night in a house you haven't lived in for 12 years? Luckily I located a perfect subject fairly quickly in the laundry and went outside to secure the cat flap so the cats could get inside, but not out again. There's still one roaming around somewhere after all, but I know it's the one much less likely to chase anything.

Finally let the cat out of the bathroom, where it gives _me_ a reproachful look, and heads for the food. Hallelujah, job done.

No! I still have to put the bins out. I creep slowly down the front steps in case L'il Poss is still there, and sure enough...wait... she's bigger! and has grown two tails!

It was her mother, come to collect her from her evening out (sheesh, teenagers!) and I watched as she carried L.P. across to another tree and out along a long limb. So I dunno if L.P. thought I was a giant possum, or whether she just knew a form of transport when she saw it. It's not like I have fur or a tail, honest.

I took another look up after doing the bins just in time to see them disappear over the roof. Mum, I think you have a possum nest in the drainpipe on the chimney. Also, you might want to check your quilted bag under the hall table for possum -uh- presents.

And that was how Timmy saved Christmas.

Tragically I did not have a camera during the incident, but I can assure you that L'il Poss was even cuter than this, and this, and even this.

Mon, 27 Oct 2008
Wants to know about the tattoos.

Last night we returned from my grandfather's house in country Victoria which he has recently sold. Amongst the very very few things left in the house (we were supposed to be doing the final clear-out, but most of it had already been done, which lead to much lazing around without furniture) were copies of the family tree my grandmother had printed up twenty years ago. On looking through it this morning I found this gem describing my great-great-great-great* grandfather, Charles Collard (1802-1891).

On 13 August, 1832 he was sentenced to transportation for life at the Somersey Assizes for highway robbery. He had been convicted before for "Leaving my master and taking a pair of shoes". His gaol report was "believed to be bad", and his hulk report - 'good'. He was transported to Van Diemen's land on the Emperor Alexander and arrived on 12 August, 1833.

The following description of him is given - Height 5'1 1/4; age twenty-one; fresh complexion; oval head and visage; red hair and whiskers and eyebrows, grey eyes; medium nose, mouth and chin; he had many tatoos [sic].

The quote comes from a letter to my grandmother from the State Library of Tasmania dated 1964 and is a relic of the times itself.

*I think. These calculations are tricky.

Fri, 24 Oct 2008
It's for coffee!
Card catalogue coffee table by summerswann

I have spent years looking for the perfect coffee table, now at last I have found it. Or course it's not one that I can go and buy or anything simple like that. At least I have an end goal in mind. Kudos summerswann!

Fri, 05 Sep 2008
This one's full of complaints.

Last night was Father's Night at the kinder and, I swear, suddenly so much becomes clear. Why do so many kids have trouble remembering 'please' and 'thank you'? Because their dads are all 'Where's the butter'? and 'I haven't had any soup, yet' when presented with a free meal.

A free meal prepared by unpaid mothers who have been in the tiny kinder kitchen all day helping their kids pretend that they've made the soup themselves. Peeling carrot for a full hour is not my idea of a good time.

Now of course my back is stuffed from standing up all day and I have to take Abbey to that place with the clown mascot for a birthday party. Her first visit actually and it's only because it's one of her best friend's party that she's going at all. I've always managed to come up with excuses before now. Abbey only found out the name of the place last week, and then very aptly prefixed it with 'Old'. Ha!

I'm trusting that she won't like it and we'll never have to go back, but before then it's a stop off at the pharmacy for some targeted pain relief.

Thu, 04 Sep 2008
Tweet Gold.

Why am I not blogging?
I am Twittering.
What am I Twittering?
Pure gold.

Mon, 12 May 2008
What I did on my day off.

Took 36 hours off-line over the weekend, which is the first time I can remember doing so while remaining at home. Nasty habit the ol' checking email, updating RSS feeds thing. Not that I achieved anything spectacular with all the added time, but that will come. I plan on doing this regularly now.

So, I read a little, ate a lot (was fed a lot - Mother's Day!), had some friends over, and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Mostly, I cultivated a sore throat. Yay.

Thu, 08 May 2008
Pleased List

As a counter:

  1. I won a free facial today!
  2. Tomorrow's Friday.
  3. Braised celery for dinner - love it, but rarely cook it.
  4. More House of Eliott to watch tonight.
  5. May have solved a novel problem.
  6. Rediscovered a box of old cassettes. Including the theme from Twin Peaks and Do the Bartman.
  7. Brian Wildsmith's ABC

Cheese List

Things that are cheesing me off today:

  1. People who do not include their name on a file when they know that 15 other identical files will be perused at the same time.
  2. People who send three times as much data as requested. Yes, you're special. We'll make an exception for you.
  3. Websites that highlight text using blue. And underlining. And it's not a link.
  4. Small talk.
  5. People who commit to projects then remain conspicuously silent and absent. (This may include me, I'm afraid.)
  6. The fact that I only just remembered to boil water for the pasta when the rest of dinner is almost ready.
  7. I could really use a drink, but I have a headache.

Don't know why I'm complaining. I won a free $100 facial today. I'm not really a day spa/facial/massage kind of person, but I'll make an effort to enjoy it.

Fri, 02 May 2008
An experience you may not have had.

Watching The Doctor Dances. Having a small voice behind you say, "Mummy. Mummy!"

'Scuse me while I climb down from the light fitting.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008
Such a mum thing to do

I just went into Abbey's room and vaccuumed around all the clothes on the floor.

Incidentally, if this is the kind of entry that keeps you returning to this blog you can now also follow me on Twitter where I am entertaining myself with the minutiae of life. Until I get bored of that and start making stuff up. I wonder if you will be able to tell the difference?

Mon, 07 Apr 2008
They came from beneath!

I wanted to make a few notes about the wedding I went to on Saturday. It was by far the largest and most extravagant I've ever been near and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it all.

It was in an absolute barn of a reception centre. So large it could accomodate the 300 guest reception I attended plus another, although not quite so massive, I think. Three hundred guests. Did I mention it was a sit-down dinner? With nine courses? And one of the courses was half a lobster each? I told you it was big.

What really impressed me though was the way it all ran. Sure the meals were not served exactly as to the program on the table, but they were all a)piping hot and b)delicious. Amazing co-ordination by the dozens of staff. No glass went unfilled, no dropped fork went unreplaced, no one went hungry.

An MC ran the proceedings, and to be honest he was dreadful. Fortunately he was brief. If he'd left out mentioning the name of the reception centre twice in each sentence he would have been even briefer. There were speeches, but they weren't too long either, even though they were in two languages, and there were only a couple of fart jokes. (no, really...)

There was a dance floor, naturally and the bride and groom were well rehearsed for their waltz, but when the MC announced them, they were nowhere to be seen. Then a section of the floor broke away and they ROSE UP IN A GLASS ELEVATOR. I am not making this up. So awesome.

The lesson here is if you're going to do a big production number for your wedding there really are places you can go to that will facilitate your dream. Your dream of rising out of the fog-drenched floor looking like a cake topper.

After that there was more food, drunkeness and dancing, bouquet tossing, more dancing. It all blurs together a bit, but it was a great night out.

Thank you and Congratulations Melissa and Quan!

Mon, 24 Mar 2008

We're off at the crack of dawn tomorrow to collect Richard who has been in Chicago for the last two weeks. The tradition has become that whenever he's away I do something to the house. I think I overdid it this time. Here's what's been done, most of it today:

Tank base prepared
Tank installed - admittedly the tank stuff was not done by me, but I had to fight to get it done before Easter
Bathroom benchtop and cabinets painted (three coats!)
Silicon sealant applied
New handles fitted
Two picture frames painted and hung
One additional picture and two mirrors hung*
Towel rail and four hooks installed
Chips in bath and basin repaired
Every surface dusted and cleaned

I'm so chuffed! The tank is so pretty - I keep going out to admire it, even though it remains stubbornly empty. And the bathroom is now complete. We began a minor renovation of it about four years ago. Renovation is not our strong suit, apparently. Now I'm curled in a nest on the couch idly surfing the 'net, congratulating friends and watching some early Star Trek TNG. Ahhhhh.

*The technique there being lots of double sided mounting tape, liquid nails and crossed fingers.

Tue, 05 Feb 2008
To Me!




Tue, 01 Jan 2008
Happy New Year!

Hooray for 2008! Not that 2007 was so bad for me, just hooray for getting a new number to write down for a while.

So what did I do in 2007? Collected some very pretty rejection notices, learned to wet felt, mostly fixed the bathroom, prepared about 522 meals and some other stuff I'm sure.

I read 72 books. That's eleven more than last year, and one more than in 2005. I think I was aiming for 100, but I didn't really try. My own definition of book might be different to yours, but I didn't count the many that were not worth finishing.
My favourite for the year was A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield. Other notables: Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman, Magic for Beginners - Kelly Link, The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins and I, Coriander - Sally Gardener.

I watched 127 films. Yeah. That's a lot isn't it? I think I'm going to try and make them count more this year. Avoid the crap.
Top choices: Nightwatch, Good Night and Good Luck, V for Vendetta, Stardust and some classics; Rebecca, Cool Hand Luke, and Dial M for Murder.*

So this year I'm going to attempt:

  • a review a fortnight
  • a short story every three months
  • a novel draft
  • a book proposal
  • read 75 books
  • fewer films watched
  • an Etsy store for some of my felty goods

I'll be watching Buffy again along with Shiny (any excuse) and I imagine some M*A*S*H too considering this was one of my Xmas presents!

I hope all of you have loads of fun this year. Keep celebrating the change in government, relax, and do something you really love. Good health, good luck and good times!

*And Daywatch, Elizabeth: the Golden Age, Transformers, Pan's Labyrinth, Little Miss Sunshine, Porky's** and Children of Men.

**See how I snuck that in there so you wouldn't notice? Oh. Whups.
I wouldn't watch it again in a hurry, but I nearly split my sides laughing. Hi-lar-i-ous!