Literature, and inappropriate books…

Tonight I thought I’d talk about… literature. Literature can mean many things to many people, but when you’re at school it generally refers to English Literature, or “Eng. Lit.”, and if schools are anything like they were when I was at school, from about Year 4 onwards you’ll be given a list of books to read and study; you’ll be asked questions about them in assignments, tests, and exams, and be expected to write essays on them. A very few of these books you will enjoy, others you’ll find dull, boring, maudlin and morbid, and some are just straight out nasty, but you have to read them anyway. They’re supposed to be “literature”, good writing, in most cases considered to be “classics”, with many deep and meaningful messages about different social issues either now, or in the past.

I just thought that I’d mention four of the books that we had to study between Year 4 and Year 6 (for us oldies, that’s Intermediate, Leaving, and Matric!), and which I thought, at the time, mind you, to be totally inappropriate for our age group! Let me know if you’ve had to “do” any of these, and what you thought of them – I’d be quite interested! πŸ™‚

1. The Mayor of Casterbridge
by British author Thomas Hardy. It is set in the fictional town of Casterbridge (based on the town of Dorchester in Dorset). The book is one of Hardy’s Wessex novels, all set in a fictional rural England. It was one of our English Literature novels in Intermediate (Year 4?) and my first “taste” of “proper” English literature; I didn’t like it, and have never really developed a taste for so-called proper Literature since, thanks to most of the novels we were given to study as part of the curriculum of the day. The Mayor of Casterbridge struck me as being a cross between the dull, boring, maudlin and and morbid Sons and Lovers (see below!), and a vacuous Victorian melodrama.
It’s about a rather nasty man who, whilst drunk, auctions off his wife and baby daughter. He swears off drink, and goes on to run a successful business. He has an affair, his long lost wife comes back with the now grown up daughter, who eventually turns out not to be his daughter but the daughter of the man he sold his wife to, all those years ago. Things go from bad to worse, people find out what he’s really like and hate him. He loses his business and goes bankrupt. When he finally dies, he’s penniless and alone. End of story.

Why did they make us read that? The only point it seemed to make is that some people are true rotters, and others are nice – but at our age, we already knew that anyway. Boring. I’d give it an “appropriateness” rating of 4 out of 10

2. Sons and Lovers
Sons and Lovers is a 1913 novel by the English writer D. H. Lawrence. The Modern Library placed it ninth on their list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. While the novel initially incited a lukewarm critical reception, along with allegations of obscenity, it is today regarded as a masterpiece by many critics and is often regarded as Lawrence’s finest achievement.
If that was his finest achievement, I’d hate to have to read his worst! 😦  It’s the story of the artistic son of a woman who had married badly, and below her class status. His relationship with his mother makes it virtually impossible for him to form any loving or close relationships with other women, and to me the whole book seemed tired, maudlin and totally depressing and pointless. And this is supposed to be suitable reading for a bunch of blossoming young ladies, discovering the delights of romance and love for the first time? This one I’d give an “appropriateness” rating of 3 and 1/2 out of 10.

3. Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results. I guess the word “dystopian” gives the game away, rather… Horrible, horrible story! I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading, and I really, really don’t want to write about it. It seemed to go from bad, to worse, to Stephen King-type horror. I hoped that I would never have to read anything so awful again as long as I lived… but I was wrong.. The worst was yet to come… Lord of the Flies gets an “appropriateness” rating of 1 and a bit out of 10.

4. Bless the Beasts and Children
Bless the Beasts and Children is a 1970 novel by Glendon Swarthout that tells the story of several emotionally disturbed boys away at summer camp who unite to stop a buffalo hunt. The book covers some social issues of the 1960s and 1970s.
This story made Lord of the Flies look as friendly and comforting as Whinny the Pooh! It is a thoroughly horrible story about misfits, one of whom ends up committing suicide in an attempt to stop a buffalo hunt (cull, actually). After a great deal of angst, and delving into the boys’ many and varied psychological problems, it ends with the suicide of one boy driving over a cliff in an attempt to stampede and scatter the “cull” herd – and you just know things will not be pleasant for the rest of the misfits. I would never, ever countenance this book falling into the hands of sensitive and emotional teenagers, and yet this “literature” was one of the books we had to study for English Literature in Matric (Year 6). It gets an “appropriateness” rating of -10 out of 10!

Who decides what is good enough to be classified as “Literature”? And who chooses the books for the Years 4 to 6 English Literature curriculum? Upon what, exactly, do they base their selections?

Why anyone would deliberately go out of their way to read…. these sorts of books… is totally beyond me. They may be well written, but so are a lot of other books that are not considered “literature”; they may well cover and explore some of the social issues of their time(s), but so too do a lot of good novels that, once again, don’t fall into the “classical” meaning of the term “English Literature”. And surely there must be many, many classics of the English Literature standard that aren’t quite so depressing and mind numbing as the examples I’ve given above – but apparently they weren’t thought to be suitable for young ladies between the ages of 14 and 17. Such a shame, too, as English Expression and English Literature* were my two best subjects – I don’t think I ever got an exam mark under 90, or a grading lower than A-; just think how much better I could have been if we’d been given something slightly more interesting than those pitiful examples! :/ Oh well, all water under the proverbial now…

Weigh-in this morning was… amazing… πŸ™‚ down to… (wait for it!) 119.9kg! πŸ™‚ No, I’m not going to say that I’ve broken the 120kg barrier… yet! .9kg is just too close for comfort! πŸ˜‰ Tomorrow’s the first of the month, and I start taking the fluid retaining Provera again for ten days :/ I’ll say that I’ve broken the 120kg barrier when I get down to, say, 119.5kg… But I’m very pleased, anyway πŸ™‚ I did my exercises today, too… maybe that’ll make a difference?

Stay tuned, and find out all the latest tomorrow night! πŸ™‚

Flat phone… (probably!)

Hmmm… What can I tell you? πŸ™‚ Doesn’t the title make it obvious? πŸ˜‰ I couldn’t think what to call this entry, let alone what to write about tonight! πŸ™‚ Today has been very peaceful and quiet… My favourite eldest daughter came over for the day, and, as usual, after luncheon we retired to the parlour lounge room, and watched an episode of Agents of Shield, and several episodes of Person of Interest (which is really getting interesting at the moment!). Her equal but more technical half arrived to whisk her off to some sort of meeting, and himself and I had dinner. Well, he had dinner, I had my soup (tomato tonight!) Later on we were talking about how he’s trying to take a step back from all the work he’s been doing for the Body Corporate… Living in an apartment has heaps of advantages, especially when it’s right across the road from a major shopping mall, has a reasonably secure underground parking area, a lift, and fabulous views! (especially on the 5th floor, where we are) πŸ™‚ It also has its share of disadvantages, like the plumbing being just adequate, dependence on one lift, which shows its displeasure of the summer heat by breaking down when it gets really hot, the need to be generally quieter than you would in a normal house, etc., etc… Most of the owners and tenants are elderly, and there is a dearth of people young and interested enough to join the Body Corporate committee. How many of you live in apartments? How many of you have to deal with a Body Corporate? Probably not many, so perhaps I had better explain…

When this building was erm.. ‘built’, the developer formed the Body Corporate. This Body Corporate owns the fabric or structure of the building ( the outer wallsΒ  and its common areas). For instance, although my mother and others bought these apartments, all they really bought was the title to live here. Rules were set up by the Body Corporate which dictate what colours we can paint the outside of our walls (we can’t), what colour the side of the curtains facing the outside and or street have to be (white or cream), and what we can and can’t put on the balconies (drying of washing prohibited!) The Body Corporate also organises rubbish collection, window washing (outside of the windows only), general repairs and maintenance to the structural and common areas, and so forth. It’s a business worth about $150,000 a year, so it has to be run properly.

It’s a pretty thankless task, and Julian and our next door neighbour have been doing the brunt of the work for years. As the other owners and tenants get older and more curmudgeonly, so the complaints and grizzles get louder, more frequent, and quite often silly and childish, and 99 and 3/4 of these fall to Julian to fix, sort out, and or smooth over – that’s on top of the financial side of looking after things. Now, I don’t know about him, but I’m getting sick and tired of him always in the office, pouring over Body Corporate business! We say we want to go away for a bit, overseas… but even if I was fit and well, even if we didn’t have Flipper to look after, we couldn’t go away because there’s too much work to do, and no-one to look after it for him, even for a couple of weeks.

So anyway, he’s looking at stepping down from his position as secretary (of the committee)Β  This would be very nice indeed, but… what will happen to things if he steps away from the helm? When he took on this job in about 2008, the Body Corporate finances were in a shocking state – it took two years to get things back in the black, and apart from having to get the lift mechanism replaced early next year, the finances are looking fairly healthy…

Sounds to me like it might be a very good idea to look for somewhere new, when he relinquishes his position, rather than stay around and wait for the – probably inevitable – slide into chaos and neglect, which will be a real shame, as I really like this place (though there’s lots I’d love to do to refurbish it! πŸ˜‰ )

Weight-wise this morning was like a dream come true!Β  Down to 120.1kg! You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be back up again tomorrow – I remembered to have my afternoon tea this afternoon :/ Tomorrow, however, after the cleaner has been, we have vowed and sworn to get the wheelchair (to act as an anchor for the elastic) into the lounge room, and I’m going to get all enthusiastic and energetic and get stuck into my exercises! πŸ™‚

I think. Will I or won’t I? Will my weight go back up again tomorrow? Will I remember my afternoon tea again? Stay tuned for all the answers! πŸ˜‰

Christmas-y candles…

Well, after typing until I almost wore the letters off the keyboard last night, simply to grizzle about undisciplined children and their selfish, uncaring, and even more undisciplined parents, I’ll try to keep things a little shorter tonight πŸ˜‰ Instead, I’ll talk about candles in general, and Christmas-y smelling candles in particular. Some time ago I bought a fancy scented candle in David Jones. They were being displayed in the ladies underwear area (of all places!), and they were in such pretty red stained glass-ish jars with a nice little lid. They didn’t smell too bad, either, so I got one. I thought it’d look good (and smell nice) in my bathroom – which it does! πŸ™‚ However, I started to think (always a dangerous pastime for me!) that it would be nice to have a candle in the Den, too, so today when we went out to do a bit of shopping, I steered himself towards Dusk, where I decided to look for something… I wasn’t really sure exactly what I wanted – something jasmine-y? No, my bathroom is undergoing its Jasmine Phase at the moment, and I didn’t want the Den to smell like my bathroom… I do prefer spicy, oriental-y perfumes, but although the very nice young lady at Dusk said they were, none of the candles she showed me were what I would have called “spicy”, or “oriental”. Most of them were too bland and far too “sweet” for our taste. We also looked at Christmas so-called “berry” scented candles, but once again, there was nothing that had what we were looking for. In the end, I opted for a soy candle in a black glass jar (more like an ordinary drinking glass than a jar, really) and silver writing on the (black) label… called, terribly imaginatively, “Midnight Noir”. The scent is quite nice, though not terribly strong, and it’s currently burning away gently to my right. Don’t be surprised if one of these evenings you see the post title of “Black candle”, or “Midnight noir”, when I can’t think of anything else to call it πŸ™‚ But getting back to the berry and Christmas theme… can anyone think of the name of a berry often used in Christmas candles? It may be bayberry, but I’m not sure… I remember years ago (years and years ago, in Glengarry Avenue!) I bought a Christmas candle – at least I think it was a candle – that smelt absolutely delicious! Scrumptious, even! It smelt a bit like that lovely Christmas time tea you can get up at Tea Leaves, but nicer… and it had some sort of special Christmas berry in it but I can’t remember what it was called! 😦 As I said, it may have been bayberry, but I sort of feel that the berry name might have started with the letter “M”? I don’t think we ever actually lit the candle, but kept it around because it smelt so nice. Of course, it’s long gone now – we were in Glengarry Avenue about twenty five years ago now, and I’m quite sure that it didn’t make the move with us to Diosma Drive! πŸ™‚ The long and short of it is that I want to get another candle, or diffuser, or burner, or whatever, that smells like that candle did, so if anyone can supply the name of the berry scent that I’m looking for, I’ll be eternally grateful! πŸ™‚

Weigh-in this morning was not really thrilling :/ I stayed the same (again! Unfortunately not moving seems to be a prelude to [insert rude word here] goingΒ  up again 😦 and as I said, I’m not overly thrilled :/ ) So, here I sit.. at 120.6kg again. My body seems determined to make me lose my race to the goal that I’ve set myself, as I’m running out of time before the Provera at the front end of the month really pushes me up with fluid retention. Ho-hum, never say die, and all that πŸ™‚

Will she go up? Or will she go down? Maybe stay the same again for a third day? Don’t hold your breath, bur find out tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

I’m… not sure…

I’ve been thinking about this – these, really – problems on and off all day. I’m not really sure if I should be saying anything about them at all – not without labeling myself as a racist, a bigot, sexist, and just about any other label that the politically correct will no doubt attempt to plaster me with.

The other day I read an article in The Age about the vilification heaped upon a Sydney cafe for daring to post an open letter – on Facebook, I think it was – about not being a “child friendly” place unless the parents (a) didn’t block the spaces between the tables with their SUV sized prams and pushers, and (b) were willing to make sure that their children behaved in a quiet and orderly manner, sitting at the tables with them. Personally, I thought that they were very reasonable requests, but apparently they were forced to remove their well written and reasonable open letter due to the number of parental screams of outrage at the cafe for daring to criticize the way theyΒ  dealt with their children, from the bleated “But they’re only little children, they’re not doing any harm” to the more amazingly selfish “Well, if you (the cafe!) provided a sound proofed, glassed in, children’s room with toys, and provided more parking spaces for our prams and strollers, you wouldn’t have a problem, would you!” – in other words, the cafe had brought all the trouble on themselves.

I snorted in disbelief.

Then today, I read another article, this time written by a mother, and I can only hope (in vain, I fear) that she was attempting to be humorous. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I’ve put a link in to the article because if I go into it any further, either (a) this post will end up rivaling the Encyclopedia Britannica in size, or (b) I might end up having an apoplectic fit! If she’d had a bucket of “let’s all feel sorry for mothers with small children” flavoured green jelly and a large garden trowel, she couldn’t have laid it on thicker!

This time I didn’t snort in disbelief, I read it through again, trying to see if she was being sarcastically humorous… but either I’m totally devoid of a funny bone and don’t recognise humor when I see it, or she was deadly serious. I dare you to read it, and tell me that I’m wrong!

Which brings me to my second point – am I, perhaps,Β succumbing to my pet hate of being too easily offended? Of actually wanting to be outraged by this idiotic woman’s post? I see it all the time – it’s almost as if some people spend all their spare time (and a lot of their working time, too!) trawling busily through articles, looking for anything that they can decide is politically incorrect enough for them to label as “offensive” in some way, and then triumphantly blare to the world “look what so-and-so has said (or written, or implied)! Sexist! or Racist! or anything else that’s the flavour of the month. I said to our young visitor the other day that I’m a fairly “Live and let live” type of person – as long as you’re not hurting me and mine, I don’t really give a damn what you do (or say). But sometimes, I fear that the “me and mine”, seems to become “me and the rest of humanity” – so I do take offense at people, be they mothers or not, who wedge their SUV size prams in aisles where people have to walk, and waiters have to deliver food! I do take offense at people bringing noisy, undisciplined children into cafes and restaurants and then proceed to ignore them because “they’re not doing any harm” – except to my eardrums, and my desire for a quiet cup of coffee and a meal. When my two children were noisy toddlers, and we were out somewhere, the minute they started either running around or making loud noises, I rounded them up, told them quietly that that was not acceptable behaviour, and that I was taking them home (which I did. Always. Never threaten a small child with deprivation of a treat unless you intend to go through with it! I tell you, they learn very fast! πŸ™‚ ) I never had to do this more than twice. Why is it, or perhaps I should say, why does it seem so very hard for parents to discipline their children these days? A few quiet words – no need to yell (Mummy is always very serious when she drops her voice, don’t-you-know! πŸ˜‰ ), a few missed coffees in your favourite cafe, and… problem solved.

There’s a lot more I could say on the subject, but it’s getting late, and you’re all probably getting bored with this tirade against the slack parents of today (you may even be one yourself, and if you’re offended by what I’ve said… I’m not sorry!) πŸ™‚

Weigh-in this morning was getting back to what I like to see. A drop down to 120.6kg, so I’m slowly getting back on track again πŸ™‚ Unfortunately I missed out on afternoon tea again today… I’d fallen asleep reading and himself didn’t wake me up in time (let’s see if I can foist the blame onto him πŸ˜‰ ), so not only did I miss my afternoon tea, I never got to fold the laundry either! πŸ™‚ Never mind, tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for all the latest, weight-wise, pet peeve, and whimsical! πŸ™‚

Clocks…

…Because I can see four – no, five, from where I’m sitting (six, if you count the time and date thingy on the bottom right hand corner of my computer!) πŸ™‚ And also because I couldn’t think of a title for this post… again. We’re listening to some lovely Chopin at the moment… very stirring and evocative…

Hey! Wasn’t it a totally brilliantΒ lightning show last night! The thunder was pretty awesome, too πŸ™‚ I love thunderstorms! I reckon we don’t get enough of them down here in Melbourne… We went to bed around 12.30am – 01.00am, as usual… I thought I could see faintΒ lightning flashes out of the corner of my eye, and by the time we put the lights out it was a full on storm! πŸ™‚ Fantastic! Some of the flashes were so bright that even after the initial flash, the sky near the horizon looked like daylight! Then it rained… or maybe it was hail – dunno… but it sure rattled on the windows – we were a little worried that it might have upset Flipper, but we didn’t hear a peep out of her, and she didn’t seem too distraught this morning, so she probably slept through it, or she would have started yowling. I guess that’ll come tomorrow when himself gets down the cat box to take her to the V.e.t. (we can’t say the word out loud because she runs and hides!) – we found a little lump on her side, which we think is probably just a fatty cyst, as she’s had one on her tummy for years, but we both think it’s best that we get it checked as soon as possible.

We had a friend come over this afternoon, and it was great to see him again, so hopefully it’ll become a regular event. Then in the evening we sat and fretted until we heard from Terry, my favourite youngest daughter’s husband – she was having a minor procedure done today, and like all parents, we worry about our children, probably unnecessarily, but there it is – we do. πŸ™‚ She rang later in the evening, home again, and sounding very happy and relaxed, so now I can start re-growing the fingernails that I chewed down to the quick this afternoon πŸ˜‰

All in all, it was quite a busy day – for us πŸ™‚ Not sure what’s happening tomorrow, apart from Flipper’s little “trip in the car”, but after I heard from Kate this evening, I went and re-organised the Rift Guild Bank, to make room for all the bits and pieces that the Minions are bringing back – that’s taken me all evening, actually – I’m a bit of a neat freak (sometimes!), and I like things organised and easily visible; I tend to get frustrated and irritable if I have to hunt too hard to find something. As out grandmothers used to say in the good old days, “a place for everything, and everything in its place” – not a bad motto to live by – what a shame I often forget it! πŸ˜‰

Weigh-in this morning was …better… back down to where I was two days ago (*glares at screen*), at 120.9kg. Why my stupid body had to go and waste two whole days (*glares at screen again*) going up the way it did, I don’t know! That’s two days lost, out of my very careful and meticulously planned schedule (*sigh*) Oh well, hopefully it’ll be down again tomorrow… I accidentally missed out on afternoon tea this afternoon πŸ™‚ and by the time I realised, it was almost dinner time and too late to have it, but I wasn’t hungry, so didn’t really care all that much – I just hope that my metabolism doesn’t think “Oh noes! I’m being starved! Perhaps I’d better save all of dinner, just in case I never get fed again!”, and I put on weight again tomorrow!

Will I won’t I? πŸ™‚ Stay tuned to find out…

A trifle waterlogged…

I feel as though I should still be dripping all over the keyboard! πŸ™‚ The new zone/area that’s opened up in Rift is mostly underwater, and I hate it!Β  Hate it, I tell you! :/ I can’t tell if I’m up, down, on target, or hopelessly lost under a ledge! :/ I’ve never been terribly good at co-ordinates – tell me to go left, and I surreptitiously glance down at my hands to see er… where left is (there it is Winter, it’s the one you don’t write with, remember?! πŸ˜‰ ) I caught it from my mother – she used to do that too. Strangely enough, I can read a map and give directions to anyone driving, but in a game? Pftttt! I’m hopeless! Of course, it doesn’t help that the character Julian’s playing, Schatzi, is a dwarf, and hard to spot at the best of times (even if he did put a ruddy great skull over her head :/ ) I may have to change the colour I’m using for group players, too, to something a little brighter and more visible than presley purple. Apart from my difficulty maneuvering myself around under water, it was a good day, and we had a lot of fun (even if we both died multiple times! πŸ˜‰ ) We didn’t manage to go up a level, but came close to it, and we might even have made the level if himself hadn’t had to play one-handed so much because Flipper, bless her old and daffy heart and soul, insisted on having Daddy Pats all the time. Ah well. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to continuing with the game next Sunday. In the meantime, the Minions are being good little minions and bringing home the gathered goodies – so much so that I’m having to re-think the layout of the Guild Bank – I’m running out of room! This evening I typed up a Foraging Guide, and as soon as my newest characters reach a high enough (foraging) level, I’ll remove the items that they’ll no longer be collecting from the bank and shunt them off to another of my characters who’ll function as the Guild Bank Overflow repository, in order to make room for all the new things coming in πŸ™‚

Weigh-in this morning was not good, and I was, and still am, extremely annoyed and disgruntled. I went up again! Not much, but two days in a row… Arrrggghhhh! In fact I’m fuming! I went up to 121.1kg! Yes, I know it’s not much, and yes! I understand that weight fluctuates from day to day, but it can ruddy well do that later, when I get down to my “half way” point, not now! Not. Happy. Jan! 😦

Let’s see what happens tomorrow… I’ll be beside myself if it goes up, again! (Hmm, that’s a thought… if I was beside myself, I wouldn’t all be in me, would I, so I’d have to weigh less, wouldn’t I?! πŸ˜‰ )Β  Stay tuned, but like me, don’t hold your breath! πŸ˜‰

Pen and pencil mug…

This finding a suitable “title” for the evening’s entry is getting to be a bit of a bore… I couldn’t think of anything really pertinent to call it, so as usual, I looked around my desktop, waiting for something to catch my eye…. for about four minutes. Nothing really jumped out at me and said “Call it me! call it me!“, so in the end I settled for the good old “one on everyone’s desk” pen and pencil mug. Mine’s an etched glass “stein” that belonged to my mother, and in fact still contains a few pens and pencils of hers (and yes, they still work! πŸ˜‰ )

Last night, for about the last hour and a half before we went to bed, our main Shard on Rift was down, so I mucked around on another one for a bit. This morning, not only was it still down, but so were all the others! Oh Noes! What to do… I played a few games of solitaire, then went and checked… they were all back up! Yay! So on I hopped and played for a bit, when it occurred to me… Sunday, as you all know, is our “Romping in Telara Day”, killing monsters and bad people for fun and profit… sometimes… and hoping not to die too many times. But the “rules” have changed a bit with this expansion, and the top level has been lifted from 60 to 65. This is all well and good, but the “Soul Trees” where we spent out hard earned levelling points was only designed to go to level 60, and there was no room to put anything else in without having to completely alter and re-design the entire structure. I guess they probably thought that not only would it take too long, but would probably confuse the hell out of older players, like me πŸ˜€ Anyway, long story short, in their wisdom they decided to create a new set of “Masteries” that you could pick up, from levels 60 to 65. That meant that the new(ish) characters that we’ve been playing wouldn’t be able to access or try these out for about another 30 odd levels, and, being me, I wanted to see what they were like, now! Consequently, tomorrow we’re going to pull a couple of our ancient old level 60 characters out of retirement and trot them through their paces once more for the salvation of all Telarans. πŸ™‚ There is one small problem though. I have two Defiant level 60s and one Guardian level 60. Julian has one Defiant level 60 who he has been riding out each night, exploring, joining in Rifts and (I think? I may be wrong!) instances, and dungeons. Which means that Mandreth (the character he’s been using) will be quite a bit ahead of my two level 60s. He does have a Guardian level 60 on another Shard, which he’s going to move over to Laethys (he’s still got room to move someone over, not being quite the altoholic that I am. If I want to move someone over, I have to move someone off first, and perform the good old “Change Shards Shuffle” which I so detest having to do 😦 ) Unfortunately, my Guardian level 60, Wyntercat, is not as well set up as my two Defiant level 60s… but she can do it, at a pinch… I’ll have to find her new clothes though – what she’s currently wearing is far too flashy to wear whilst tearing through the countryside slaughtering nasties.. or in this case, oceanside! Most of the new area, I believe, is underwater – it’s not called “Nightmare Tide” for nothing, you know! πŸ˜‰

Minions are still doing well, and bringing in the loot… πŸ™‚

Weigh-in. Hmmm… Remember how I said that my run of good weight loss was bound to run out, sooner or later? Well, this morning it leaked a bit… I went back up to 121.0kg, which, while not as drastic as some reversals of weight that I’ve had, still was not at all pleasing. No indeed! I was not impressed! (how do you make a frowning smiley, as opposed to a sad one? Never mind, imagine it instead!) Hopefully I’ll be back down again tomorrow, but… I’m not going to hold my breath! :/

So stay tuned tomorrow night to find out whether or not I’ve worked myself into another major depression or not! πŸ˜‰

Shopping… and teething problems…

Once again, I’m late, late, late! I feel like a White Rabbit, constantly looking at my pocket watch, thoughtfully filled with the very best butter, by my best friend, the March Hare…. :/ Yes, I got caught up with Rift again – sorry about that….

This morning was pretty ordinary – caught up with my Minions and a swag of goodies that they’d won/achieved/whatever, and that was good… their Stamina does regenerate over time, so at least I didn’t have to feel guilty about buying more Credits (with real time $$$!), with which to buy more Minions, because mine were all too tired to go Adventuring again straight away. However, since I found out that Minions are shared across Shards, I’m going to have to try to remember to only pick up their loot from my main Shard, namely Laethys, otherwise I stand to lose the use of artifacts and crafting materials to a Shard on which I’m not currently playing. Which I did tonight. Laethys was down (one of those expected “teething problems” always associated with the advent of a new expansion!), so I was playing on a secondary Shard. I checked the Minions and saw that one had picked up a heap of artifacts on his little Adventure, and I happily collected them all… only to then bewail the fact that unless I feel like shuffling players between Shards again, which I don’t, those artifacts are now…. unusable where I want/need them most.Β  Oh well, live and learn… hopefully that little faux pas will help me remember not to just go blithely picking things up, before making sure that I’m on the right Shard! Duh! :/

This afternoon we went shopping… mainly for fitted sheets and pillow cases. For some inexplicable reason, all our plain pillow cases have disappeared! We have plenty of pillowcases that match our various doona covers, but no plain ones. You see, we tend to wash the bedding and put it back on the bed again when it’s dry (which is probably a bit lazy, and probably accounts for us having so many doona sets, because after you’ve stripped the bed, washed and dried the bedding, and put it back on the bed again about four or five times, you get a bit tired of seeing the same old pattern all the time and decide to go and get a new one… but it certainly saves having to iron everything! πŸ˜‰ ) We used to have lots of plain pillowcases, or so we thought, but they must have got lost in the bottom of a dark cupboard somewhere, along with all the odd socks and mislaid biros. Probably having an orgy, which will result in a tangle of unloved and unwanted wire coathangers. The Dry Cleaners will be pleased though – we usually take all these orphaned coathangers to them, as they seem to be only too happy to give them a good home πŸ™‚ I’m really looking forward to getting the new ones washed – mis-matched pillowcases on the bed look…. wrong-ish…. πŸ˜‰

Weigh-in this morning was very pleasing once more… I’ve broken the 121kg barrier by the skin on my teeth – 120.9kg! I hope my stupid body doesn’t decide to make tomorrow the day that I go back up again! :/ You know, I was trying to work it out this morning (mental arithmetic isn’t one of my strong points, so this was really quite clever of me! πŸ™‚ ) When I get down to 119kg (less than 1kg away!), I’ll be half way to my goal weight (95kg)! πŸ™‚ Now, I started off on August 18th at 134.something kg and it’s taken me since then to get to this “almost half way point”, so counting on my fingers (and toes!), that’s about 3 months… Therefore, if I’ve managed to lose almost 15kg in three months, that means I should be able to lose another 15kg in another three months, bringing me to mid to late January. And that will mean that I’ll have lost 30kg in six months! I think that’s pretty good! πŸ™‚

So, will my body thwart me yet again, and push me back up over 121kg, or will I manage to get myself a little more… comfortably under the 121kg line to, say, 120.7kg? Find out tomorrow night! πŸ™‚

Extensions extending…

Well, it is arrived! The Rift expansion is live, and those new little Minions are (a) very time consuming (or should I say, mesmerizing?) – a bit like pokie machines – you sort of get all glassy eyed sending the little critters off on adventures, claiming their “rewards” when they get back, picking a new adventure for one of them to go on – rinse and repeat… and (b) I can see it getting very expensive! As “Patrons”… and not only “Patrons”, but “Patrons” who have bought the Collector’s Edition of the Expansion, we get two free Minion Adventure slots, so we can send two Minions off at the same time… however, you can buy more Adventure slots for (in game) Credits, which, in turn, you buy from the Rift Shop for real time $$$$. We got given one Minion free, and, of course, you can buy more Minions, I don’t think there’s any limit to the number of Minions you can have, same deal as the Adventure slots. It’s not all bad though, as all your characters apparently share the same Minions – per Shard, I’d expect, though I haven’t checked cross-Shard yet. So that’s why I’m late tonight, sorting out Minions, getting glassy eyed over them, collecting goodies from the Mailbox per character, training up to the new Crafting levels, etc., etc. [*sigh*] A Gamer’s life is never easy, but we try to soldier on, bearing our heavy crosses bravely… πŸ˜‰

S’truth! I just looked at the time! Eeek! Ummm… Sorry, this will have to be a little shorter than usual tonight… Favourite eldest daughter came over today, so of course I had to show off my new Minions, but after lunch we retired to the lounge room to watch one episode of “Agents of Shield”, and about three episodes of “Person of Interest”. She stayed a little later than she usually does because she had to go to a Fund Raising meeting being held over this way for “The Sex Party“, as she’s the Candidate representing them in the South Eastern Metro area in the coming election. I really, really do wish they’d change their ruddy name though! Their policies aren’t all that bad you know, straight forward common sense for the most part, but with a name like “The Sex Party”, it makes them sound like some scatty “free love and booze” type of thing – it even sounds worse than the “The Australian Motor Enthusiast Party”, and they managed to get a Senator elected!? (I know, that’s Federal, this is State, but it’s all politics in the end! πŸ˜‰ ) Ah well… if you’re sick of the usual hopeless bunch of idiots leading us up the garden path and off to hell in a handbasket, give some thought to looking up “The Sex Party” and what they actually do stand for, and if you think they sound better than “The Australian Motor Enthusiast Party”, why not give them your vote – let’s face it, they can’t possibly be worse than what we’ve got, can they?! πŸ™‚

Weigh-in this morning again went well – down to 121.2kg – but I can’t help thinking that all this good news can’t last for much longer… I expect that I shall be depressingly back up again tomorrow… :/ Still, we shall wait and see…. πŸ™‚

I forgot!

And it’s not like me to forget things, is it! πŸ˜‰ While I was at the Prosthodontist yesterday and was having my bottom teeth cleaned and all, I grizzled to Dr. N. that I had a very annoying food trap on my upper right bridge – that when I eat things like apples, or anything fibrous, bits get stuck in there and I can’t get them out. Sometimes it feels like I have a beard growing out from between my teeth! :/ Well, he had a look, and got a piece of dental floss and flossed in between the bridges. I should at this point explain that both top and bottom bridges are not made in a single piece, each one (the top and the bottom) are made in three pieces. I don’t know whether it’s to make it easier to put them in or to take them out (for cleaning and repairs), or whether it’s so that you won’t have to go without too many teeth if you break something. Anyway, Dr. N. appeared quite fascinated by this “food trap” of mine, and as well as I can remember it (I’m getting old you know), this is more or less what he said: It was commonly believed and taken as given that the human jaw stopped growing during our middle teens – give or take a few years – and that once it had stopped growing things didn’t really change all that much as far as your tooth placement went. It was only after implants became more common that they began to notice that in some rare cases, the jaw did keep growing a bit. Implants are very firmly fixed in your jaw bone, you see, and they can’t move; so any movement between implants therefore had to be jaw growth, which was forcing the implants apart. The amount of jaw growth can be accurately determined by measuring the gap. Though most growth usually occurs at the front (middle) of the jaw, mine is more to the side of the jaw – which is even rarer! So once again, Winter proves to be a medical and/or dental) anomaly! πŸ™‚ Perhaps I really should think seriously about leaving my body to science… πŸ˜‰

As I said yesterday that I probably would, I got my Gingerlilly up to level 50 early this afternoon, and spent the rest of the day getting her all kitted out for life after the expansion. Which will hopefully be tomorrow… but I won’t hold my breath…. So now I have three at level 60, seven at level 50, one at level 38 (I think! She’s the one I play in tandem with Julian), and one name holder to re-roll permanently once the expansion’s gone live. My favourite eldest daughter is coming over tomorrow, and she may have to sit and watch me play a newly expanded Rift for a while, while I try any new things out πŸ™‚

Weigh-in this morning was quite exciting! I went down to 121.4kg! πŸ™‚ Yay!!! Needless to say, I was very happy about that – though I’ll probably go up again tomorrow :/ Oh! and another side effect of losing weight is that I’m finding that I can stand up straighter for longer now, instead of having to go everywhere bent over double, staring at the floor because my back is too sore to straighten it properly πŸ™‚ (a combination of my arthritis and a condition called spondylosis (immobility and fusion of vertebral joints) – quite painful! :/ )

Will I continue on my downward path? Hopefully, “yes!” Stay tuned, and find out tomorrow! πŸ™‚