Young, Stupid, and Easy To Catch

– edit: apparently the first picture wasn’t platypussy enough. And yes, I have a reason for wanting a picture of a platypus, other than it just being a cool name for an animal! –

Once more, it is going to be an odd’s-and-sod’s type of post. Once more, this is because I really should be doing other things (ie reading lots and lots of articles). Also, I have no one burning thing that I must share with you…

I am anticipating any joke you could make, and none of them are funny.*

In a round about way, though, this does bring me to the first thing that I want to share: RSS.
It’s been around for a little while now, but it took me till this time last week till I realised that it was quite a snazzy idea. Everyday I get the headlines from the morning papers and newsites emailed to me, and then I spend a happy hour or so in the morning reading the news, checking up on Empire, seeing if there are any new trailers to watch, reading my favourite blogs, and so on. It’s become a routine. All well and good. There is a wasp flying around the jam-pot of paradise though. Keeping up to date now means that (on average) it takes me two hours from first opening my eyes in the morning until I am at a point that I want to start work. As I tend to wake up around 8am, this means I am not working till 10am at the earliest! Given fast approaching deadlines for three pieces of major work, and the fact that I seem incapable of working any later than 7pm, this is definately not a good thing.

I come from a family and friend group where we’ve always talked about current affairs. Not at least having a vague knowledge of what is happening in the world is a disinherit-able offense, and also leads to boring recursive dinner time conversation, so not reading the headlines is not an option. Also, I would have a lot less to say on this blog (by the end of the post you might be wishing that this was the case, but tough). In a vain effort to slim down the time I spend trawling the newspapers and the like, I have finally got around to subscribing to some RSS feeds. It took me about an five minutes before I would willingly bear its children. I love it! I found some odd things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and, as it keeps checking throughout the day, I am now also up to date with world events. Woot! Also, many blogs now have RSS feeds, which means that I don’t have to keep checking them every day – I trust that if there is a new post, my new friend NewsFire will let me know. Colour me surprised, a genuinely useful application of XML.

I have also come rather late in life to the joy of post-it notes. I never understood them before. What was wrong with scribbling notes on pieces of paper, or keeping track of them on the laptop? What was the point of the little gluey bits? Then I decided one day to slice a standard post-it into three, and discovered that they were superb for marking places in journals, books, etc. I know, the rest of the world knew about this aeons ago, but I’m slow, ok? And then there is the handieness of being able to scribble a quick thought on a post-it note, then affix it to the wall… Above my desk I now have three sections, all bristling with post-it notes: dissertation; ACS essay; Spatial Tech essay. Perhaps worrylingly, dissertation has the most notes, and it is due in last, but -shrug- Post-it notes are fun. Sadly, cheap post-it notes don’t work as well as the original. They just don’t stick!

There is new Mittens & Snowdrop genius: here. Mittens & Snowdrop & the Tin of Sweetcorn.

Cas’ favourite gadget of the moment: her pretty fold-up passive speakers. I rediscovered the alarm function of my iPod about a month ago – waking up to nice music instead of evil beeping alarm clock! (And the plus is I actually have to get out of bed to turn it off, rather than leaning over, hitting snooze, or just throwing it across the room. Honestly, I’ve got through three alarm clocks that way). The problem was that, at the time, the iPod was plugged into some active speakers that, whilst giving great sound quality, had a just-audible hum that got VERY annoying when trying to sleep. The solution was to find these snazzy little passive speakers. I just set the alarm at night, plug in these speakers to the headphone socket, and I have music to wake up to in the morning without the buzzing (and glowing power light) of the big beasties. Not great sound quality, but you don’t need that first thing in the morning! They also fold up all nice and pretty 😀 I am so easily pleased.

It was my Unofficial Birthday on the 8th of May. Don’t worry – I wasn’t expecting people to remember, which is good, because very few people did. I won’t go into now why I have an Unofficial Birthday, just accept that I have some good reasons for not liking to celebrate my real birthday, and one year Torkling decided that I should have a second birthday that I did celebrate. That plan fell slightly flat because I don’t celebrate either to be truthful, but I did get a surprise pressie this year – the Basil’s (Fred, Burt, and Delilah) and the Mystery It’s from Moose. They are currently growing happily on my windowsill, keeping The Spider Plant Formerly Known as George (tSPKaG) company. When I know what the Mystery It’s are (Moose is being mean and won’t tell) I will let you know.

Going to the gym must be paying off – I am loosing weight on finger! Honestly! I have one ring that I never take off, and it has started to get a bit loose lately. Pity that the rest of me is staying resolutely the same size it has been for a while, but I am definitely not putting on weight, and my aerobic fitness is improved, so I suppose I should be happy.

Direct quote here: “(Go to) It’s way cool, especially as you can download the ‘We Like the Moon’ song!! Now time to look at some disturbing cats!!!” This is indeed word for word the way Jeff described the site, and who am I to argue?

Sharon Stone has said she lost a part in the film Mr Deeds while waiting for Basic Instinct 2’s production to start. Now, you have to ask, should she really be that bothered? The only reason that I even remember such a film was made (and I never saw it by the way) is because I saw a trail for it on the 50 First Date’s dvd that I rewatched recently. If I was a movie star, (which I’m not by the way, in case you weren’t sure), I would be thankful that I didn’t star/feature in that film!

Once again, American’s have no taste: Monster In Law tops box office. Though I have to admit, I am tempted to watch it if only for the Jane Fonda-smashing-J Lo’s-face-into-a-cake scene.

Best description of Wallace and Grommit so far – “League of Gentlemen meets Last Of the Summer Wine”

I’m already a convert to the BBC’s radio player, though I would like the time range extended beyond one week, and the thought of being able to download (legally) tv shows I missed sounds positively wonderful. Though having to watch them on the computer would be a bit of a drag – new seating arrangements would be needed. Whilst my stool is wonderful for back pain and RSI whilst typing, it mainly accomplishes this by having so little padding you can’t physically sit on it for longer than an hour before loosing all sensation below the waist! (yes, I know it looks a bit like an instrument of torture, but it means I can now actually sit at my computer for most of the day, do work, and still be able to move ten hours later).

As of today, I am officially Tilly’s muse! I haven’t checked with him yet to see what the pay scale is, if I get benefits, or what sort of work is required of me (I do have a hazy idea that muses’ should wear diaphanous middle-eastern costumes, and if that is the case, all I would inspire is mild nausea). Being a muse might be cool though – it looks like I can’t get anything good written/created of my own, so at least I am aiding (and abetting) other people. Though on the creative front, I did spend most of yesterday writing something! It was meant to be a one page introductory scene to something, but it just wrote itself, and the next time I looked it was six pages long and five characters I weren’t expecting had appeared! I do love writing when it goes well like that. I just wish that my writers block hadn’t decided to end it’s two year siege of my creativity just when I have three huge assignments due in…

Talking of which, once again this post has grown to mammoth proportions, so I had better stop and post it before you all die of boredom reading it.

*Made you look! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Moose had a go at me for making her keep skipping to the end of a long post to read a footnote. I’d like to say that they are part of an on-going ploy to make publishers realise how annoying footnotes are, but this one is just because I am mean.)**

**I fully expect retribution for this from the Not So Tame American Historian, but at the time I wrote this, it seemed worth the hassle. Tee Hee.