3 Things

Jun. 27th, 2016 08:18 pm
emma_in_dream: (Methos)
1, I had so much free time on Friday that I was able to *walk* from the pharmacy to the post office to the library rather than driving for the sake of the few minutes it saves me.


2, We avoided the evening squabbles on the weekend by allowing ample time. If we go upstairs at like 5:30, the whole evening bathing/toothbrushing/story reading/quiet time/singing/pj/endless existential questioning time can be done smoothly by 8:15.


3, We went to the market again. Unusually coloured vegetables are certainly a hit. This time we got more coloured carrots, white corn and gold beets. Anything that encourages Pearl to eat is a good thing by me.
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
Mother to have 2 weeks of hospital bed rest to see if this improves the liquid of her spine.

Daughters had 5 medical appointments in 5 days this past week.

Mad builder wants to go to court over 2cm. Does anyone know how accurate GPS is? Is it really accurate to the millimetre?

3 Things

Apr. 28th, 2016 03:55 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
1, One of my everyday luxuries is hot showers. Clean, running water is amazing.


2, Instead of staggering out of bed like a grumpy snail, Pearl instead sprang out this morning like a cheerful gazelle. This meant that the day did not begin with me nagging her to get up, get dressed, not to lie on the couch moaning that she is tired – a very nice change for both of us.


3, I got refund from the place I parked last week where they had no functional elevators, the doors in the stairwells would not open and there was a fire alarm misfunctioning by blaring an unnecessary alarm. I had not expected to get a response from a big company like that.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Why do I find this so amusing?


The Parliamentary Counsel’s Office has sent around a newsletter, just letting us know how things are going with the Counsel and his friends. It includes this gem:




There is one change to the process for submitting documents to the Executive Council as a result of PCO’s new processes. Currently, all documents submitted to the Executive Council must be single-sided. The Cabinet Secretariat has reviewed this requirement and agreed that it will in future accept double-sided documents. This applies to legislative instruments as well (eg regulations). The Cabinet Secretariat is updating the Executive Council Guidelines accordingly.


Double-sided, people! Don’t say things don’t change in the building with the movers and shakers.

Circus!

Mar. 6th, 2016 08:45 pm
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Just went to my first ever circus and it was *amazing*.

Star Swamp

Mar. 6th, 2016 07:48 pm
emma_in_dream: (Methos)
We will be at Star Swamp tomorrow, if anyone is interested in attending.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I know I could probably google the answer, but I ask you, oh network of friends. Why does the American constitution state that only natural born citizens can be president?


This makes no sense to me as at the time of the American revolution there cannot possibly have been any natural born citizens. There were a whole heap of men who had been British subjects born in the American colonies and who had become American citizens, but none of them were born as citizens, surely? I can’t imagine they hung about for 28 years, waiting for some natural born citizens to be old enough to become President.


Quite a lot of Australian PMs have not been Australian citizens by birth. Not just recently (Abbott and Gillard) but also historically as anyone born prior to 1901 was an Australian born subject of a distant Empire.

Slow Clap

Jan. 12th, 2016 06:35 pm
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
I have finally had a response from the Federal Government regarding my complaint made *last May* about their policies to cap Family Tax Benefit B in return for channelling money towards the child care rebate.


Given that I use virtually no child care, I pointed out that this means that I am subsidising people earning up to three times as much as me. The response notes this and then points out that I could get a nanny.


ETA: Perhaps I could claim my parents as nannies?
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
Is anyone free this afternoon for a play at the park?

Stuff

Oct. 25th, 2015 05:11 pm
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Stuff happening in my life.

We have a new bunk bed! The children love it! Thanks to those who donated and assembled it.

My car is slowly dying, so I will be working more hours to pay for a new (hopefully only a few years old) car. I am not choosing it myself due to my track record of choosing incredible duds. I am getting my Dad's friend who is a mechanic to make a decision after I shortlist some.

Unless anyone has a *very reliable* car they want to sell?
emma_in_dream: (kate bunce)
Is gentrification not meant to be a slow but inevitable process? Surely there would have been *some* progress in the past fifteen years?

But no. The Police were door knocking today to try to identify the corpse in the garden at number 24. The good news - the children were inside.
emma_in_dream: (cameron)
I was wondering if anyone is free to help assemble a bunk bed on Sunday?
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
I am feeling a rare (nay, unprecedented) feeling of sympathy for Tony Abbott, now accused of breaking the marble table at his farewell party (either in alleged drunken table top dancing or alleged dummy spitting violence).


Brandis has rather weakly claimed that the table might have been structurally unsound and had a weakness, which sounds ridiculous.


But remember the new year’s eve party at which someone’s parents’ expensive marble table literally *fell apart* as we sat around it? And remember when his mother came in and I was explaining that we were just sitting there when it just *splintered* in front of us and I picked up a piece of the marble to demonstrate how gentle we were and the shard actually *fell apart* in front of the horrified eyes of his mother? Remember that?


There was no table top dancing nor fits of anger. It just collapsed in front of us, due to structural weakness.


Of course, none of us made off with splinters of the marble as souvenirs. Nor did we try to prevent the auditing staff from entering the room to see what we had done. In fact, we were innocent victims of defective marble, which I am 99% sure Tony was not. But there is that 1% chance that it did just collapse, like his Prime Ministership.
emma_in_dream: (pic#)
I have ‘renovated’ my bathroom. In the sense that I checked out the price of renovations and decided that I was not willing to pay for even the cheapest option. If I am going to spend my money, it has to be on something that gives me more pleasure than tiles do.


However, the girls really had grown too big for a baby bath. So I went to Bunnings and found a builder’s tub, quite sturdy and 60cm across so it fits inside the shower. I planned to drill a hole in the bottom to use as a drain (and to block it up with bluetack). When I explained my plans to a woman at playgroup she was horrified and demanded that I give her the tub so her handyman husband could do a proper job.


He did, in fact, a magnificent job. He even put in a proper drain and plug and a tiny little drainage pipe. Then he built a wooden frame to rest it on, so the drainage pipe can go down.


The girls adore their new bath and have 45 minute baths. They consider it to be the lap of luxury.


I am not sure if this home ‘renovation’ is a demonstration of excellent lateral thought and independence or if it is the nadir of white trashiness. I only wish the shower recess was slightly larger so we could get an even bigger tub so I too could take 45 minute bubble baths.
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
What a nightmare. First of all, I was watching a production of Macbeth that featured the actors in Howdy Doody suits, on stilts, wearing giant rubber masks of the Abbott cabinet. It was horrifying.


Then there was a call for audience participation which turned out to be….


One woman complaining about her boss’s husband phoning her to make bookings for her boss to go to the beautician. Her boss kept cancelling them and the receptionist’s sympathy was with the husband. ‘She is his wife, you know,’ she said. I shouted, ‘But it is her body!’


But then it was the next person’s turn to complain. A doctor in a white coat said, ‘There were complications from the routine vaccination. The child has Down Syndrome.’ Everyone around me was all ‘vaccinations give your children Downs syndrome! I will never vaccinate.’ I tried to protest and to get the doctor to explain again, because I was sure what she meant was ‘This child had a pre-existing medical condition and unfortunately she had a rare reaction to the vaccine. The vaccine did not give her an illness.’ But the doctor just repeated the same sentences and would not listen to me!


This was truly the stuff of nightmares, me knowing best and not being ignored while being forced to watch Abbott cast as Macbeth. Is he a once good man tempted to go bad, torn with indecision? No, he was always a bad man and he wouldn’t know introspection if it bit him on the bottom. This was a terrible production!

Squeeze

Sep. 10th, 2015 02:03 pm
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Arguably working part-time is the best of both worlds. At the moment, alas, it feels like I am being squashed between about eleventyone competing priorities.

Things at work are insanely busy with 13 major projects that need to be completed by the end of the year. But staff are leaving all the time, there is no certainty about the restructure and whether we will get our new positions. We are so busy that I have been asked to work more hours, which I would love to but...

Ruby is incredibly clingy. With great reluctance she has accepted that I have to work two days a week but she starts asking where I am about two o'clock every day. She says that her favourite days are the days she spends hanging out with me.

And she is never exactly robust. She had a fever on Tuesday, spent the day at my parents, came home, still had a fever, did not sleep all night (not true - one period of an hour and a half), then the next day she was obviously really sick but I had a big meeting at work so I took her to my parents. My Mum was out and by the time I picked her up she was really ill and the GP redirected us to the hospital. She was eventually sent home, when they decided she has a virus but she was really dehydrated and obviously I should have been with her.

So the entire afternoon consisted of us going to medical things, Ruby crying, Pearl being bored, me being phoned by work to be asked about moped licensing, me setting up the delivery of the new mattress for the next day, asking a friend to wait at my house to pick up the shopping that was being delivered. (THANK you!)

As we were driving about the car kept stalling (because it is hopeless in the heat). I know we need a new one but I just want to wait til next year to work more hours because then Ruby will be in preprimary every day and I can work more hours but still be with her after school so she won't freak out.

And basically I just have too much to do and I cannot do it all and it is only for another few months but I have no more energy left and I am so tired.

Today was the alternating Thursday of term which means Ruby was meant to have school. I had been literally fantasising about this since last Thursday (when I had extra training and also a vomiting bug).

'Don't worry,' I said to myself, 'There's only training on Thursday and Friday. Then the insanely busy weekend with multiple children's parties, father's day, swimming lessons and more, and then two and half days at work, literally running from one task to the next, and then it will be Thursday and I can sleep for several hours.'

Except no. Ruby was really sick so no rest for the wicked. As it turned out, it was probably for the best as the house had not been cleaned in over a week and lunch for Pearl on Wednesday was literally me giving her a bowl of honey and pancakes and her not eating the pancakes. Honey for lunch and I hadn't even had time to clean up the spills she made on the floor.

I discussed it with my mother and I really do need to impress them at work because of the restructure, so perhaps I can offer up the alternate Thursdays to increase my hours. But this makes my heart literally break because I feel like I am having some kind of massive mental breakdown and I just need some time to myself and I need to not be with my children all the time.

I wonder if there is something in the idea of a seven year itch, as Pearl is seven and I am so tired of being with the children constantly when not at work. Even thinking about the times when I have had time off are not cheering me, because I keep thinking about how pitifully small they are (some time at Swancon, my birthday lunch and a movie so far this year which is about typical for a year but I just really want more time).

Also, I feel horribly mean at the moment and was not even happy when my co-worker won $200,000. I just thought that she and her husband don't need it as they have two incomes in their household whereas we have half of one.

Basically I am teetering on the edge of some kind of break down but I really don't see how I can make things better until school starts next year. Which is not that far away, so I must emulate Miles Vorkosigan and get over the heavy ground as easily as I can.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Weep. Weep. Centrelink just contacted me to say that they've noticed that my income was incorrectly entered - a transposition of digits which they acknowledge was clearly their fault. Consequently I owe them a heap of money. God, how I hate them. If they allowed information out as well as in, it would be possible to check your income against what it should be and stop them from making this kind of error (third time in four years).

So, instead of thinking about the *ongoing* nightmare of dealing with Centrelink, I will tell you about Charles Dickens' *David Copperfield* (1850).

I've just read it for the first time. It was Dickens’ ‘favourite child’ and it has everything he does best: vast, interwoven plots, comic grotesque characters, the development of the hero over time, poverty, riches, and very, very badly characterised women.

Dickens is notorious for not being able to write women and this is a draw back in a novel where the pov character marries twice.

Rather than doing a proper review, I want to talk about David’s first love, Dora. Reportedly the originator of the phrase ‘dozy Dora’, she is a ‘favourite child of nature’ made of ‘sweetness, light and air’. She is in no way an adult, but is constantly described as doll-like.

To me she comes across as distinctly mentally challenged. Here is the scene where David has to break the news to her that his aunt has lost her fortune so he is indigent and will have to work hard and live frugally when they are married.

Dora came to the drawing-room door to meet me; and Jip came scrambling out, tumbling over his own growls, under the impression that I was a Bandit; and we all three went in, as happy and loving as could be. I soon carried desolation into the bosom of our joys—not that I meant to do it, but that I was so full of the subject—by asking Dora, without the smallest preparation, if she could love a beggar?
My pretty, little, startled Dora! Her only association with the word was a yellow face and a nightcap, or a pair of crutches, or a wooden leg, or a dog with a decanter-stand in his mouth, or something of that kind; and she stared at me with the most delightful wonder.
'How can you ask me anything so foolish?' pouted Dora. 'Love a beggar!'
'Dora, my own dearest!' said I. 'I am a beggar!'
'How can you be such a silly thing,' replied Dora, slapping my hand, 'as to sit there, telling such stories? I'll make Jip bite you!'
Her childish way was the most delicious way in the world to me, but it was necessary to be explicit, and I solemnly repeated:
'Dora, my own life, I am your ruined David!'
'I declare I'll make Jip bite you!' said Dora, shaking her curls, 'if you are so ridiculous.'
But I looked so serious, that Dora left off shaking her curls, and laid her trembling little hand upon my shoulder, and first looked scared and anxious, then began to cry. That was dreadful. I fell upon my knees before the sofa, caressing her, and imploring her not to rend my heart; but, for some time, poor little Dora did nothing but exclaim Oh dear! Oh dear! And oh, she was so frightened! And where was Julia Mills! And oh, take her to Julia Mills, and go away, please! until I was almost beside myself.

So they agree to maintain the engagement, but Dora does not want to talk of practicalities.

If it were possible for me to love Dora more than ever, I am sure I did. But I felt she was a little impracticable. It damped my new-born ardour, to find that ardour so difficult of communication to her. I made another trial. When she was quite herself again, and was curling Jip's ears, as he lay upon her lap, I became grave, and said:
'My own! May I mention something?'
'Oh, please don't be practical!' said Dora, coaxingly. 'Because it frightens me so!'
'Sweetheart!' I returned; 'there is nothing to alarm you in all this. I want you to think of it quite differently. I want to make it nerve you, and inspire you, Dora!'
'Oh, but that's so shocking!' cried Dora.
'My love, no. Perseverance and strength of character will enable us to bear much worse things.' 'But I haven't got any strength at all,' said Dora, shaking her curls. 'Have I, Jip? Oh, do kiss Jip, and be agreeable!'
It was impossible to resist kissing Jip, when she held him up to me for that purpose, putting her own bright, rosy little mouth into kissing form, as she directed the operation, which she insisted should be performed symmetrically, on the centre of his nose. I did as she bade me—rewarding myself afterwards for my obedience—and she charmed me out of my graver character for I don't know how long.

David suggests Dora might learn to do accounts or read a cookery book, but the suggestion makes her faint.

What is the reader to make of this? I am deeply annoyed by Dora’s hopeless helplessness, but as I read the rest of the novel I saw that this was not an affectation but the genuine extent of her abilities. Her most useful ever act is to hold David’s pencil case as he makes notes.

Dickens isn’t writing a satire about the uselessness of contemporary ideas of middle-class femininity. Dora does not fritter her time away in ladylike accomplishments like art or visiting, but plays with the dog and plays her guitar and amuses herself by playing with David’s hair as he studies. She is utterly child like.

Indeed, she asks David to call her his ‘child-wife’ which just squicks me but does encapsulate their relationship. It seems to me that although she is characterised as plump and pretty and slightly sexual (with the rosy lips in pouting form), she is mentally about eight. She certainly is not capable of meaningful consent and their entire relationship disturbs me.

Why would David, an otherwise sympathetic character, have this weird relationship? It makes sense in terms of his personal history – his mother was a child-wife to the terrible Murdstone, and his favourite teacher is a full forty years older than his wife. And, of course, Dickens himself had a mistress 28 years his junior.

Anyway, the whole thing ends happily (for David anyway) when Dora dies from an illness brought on by a miscarriage and David then marries the more adult Agnes. BTW: Jip expires at the same time as Dora, which I find hard to believe even the Victorians found pathetic rather than bathetic.

*David Copperfield* was the first novel Freud gave to his fiancé while courting – and I can see why. It is a semi-autobiographical novel that cries out for the author to receive a hefty dose of counselling.
emma_in_dream: (pic#)
Yesterday was such an amazing day - the kind of day I hope to have every second Thursday (when Ruby is at kindy and I don't have work).

I dropped the kids off at school. I got to do extra school stuff, including watching the hysterical cross country run. The preprimary kids ran the wrong way! One boy lost his trousers! Some kids forgot in the final stretch when confronted by their parents cheering and just ran up to them!

Pearl mirrored my child-hood style by coming second last and walking most of it.

Then I went home and did super creative things like remastering my Lone Gunmen vids and uploading them to vidders.net. Check out vidders.net - it's super cool.

I added more to the database I am working on.

I went for walk in the sunshine.

I went back to the school and did actual volunteer work. (Not that I was a natural at taking a reading class. By the end of it, half of them had grasped a food chain grass-goat-human and half were baffled.)

Roll on next second Tuesday, I say.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
The one that wasn't reported to the park rangers but someone did post on Facebook about it strolling around the camp?

Well, they caught it. It was assessed as a threat because it had crossed the river, whereas all the other ones on the other bank - no problem.

Just me, or a disturbing level of complacency?

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/may/05/saltwater-crocodile-captured-at-wa-campsite-moved-to-wildlife-park

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