Monthly Archives: June, 2004

Dirty Dozen

When I was at the video store the other, I saw The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission. It had Lee Marvin, and Ernest Borgnine, and I thought that it might not be too bad. How wrong I was. It’s appaling; I’m watching it at the moment. Even Lee is wooden and stilted. Very sad. I’m blaming the script, personally; it’s very close to the original, in some ways, but with no panache; quite different in others, but really bad.

Books

Well.

I read and finished Garth Nix’s Mister Monday, and I’m excited because there will be 6 more in this series and that’s really, really cool. I am really looking forward to reading the rest.

Then, I had to choose something to read next. I had yet to find Rise of Endymion, about which I was very cranky; so I started The Gutenberg Revolution, by John Mann, which J bought me ages ago. I’ve read the introduction. Then I got restless, so I started The Ill-Made Mute by Cecilia Dart-Thornton. Interesting: a number of people have told me it’s crap, then another friend told me she really enjoyed it… so it really will be interesting to see what I think of it. I’ve read the first chapter and a half. And then…I went into the city tonight with Kate because she was involved in a reading night with her CAE class. So, I thought I’d check out Readers’ Feast in the off-chance that they might have it; no. So I bought Ilium, also by Simmons, instead to make me feel better. Then Kate had a brilliant idea: go to the CAE library! And because I have a library card with Yarra-Melbourne libraries, I can borrow there. And they did have it! Hurrah! So excited.

So I’m reading that.

No more quarantine tank

That’s right, no more quarantine tank. Instead, it has turned into a molly hatchery.

Bitch Fish, Queen Hera, lulled me into a false sense of security: she didn’t have any fry in ages, and she doesn’t look all that fat, so maybe she isn’t preganant… then I wake up this morning, and what do I discover? About 10 fry, and a very skinny mother. Grrr.

J doesn’t see what the problem is.

The main tank is threatening to get algae happening again; it’s on the sword plant a bit, and some other bits… I did some rather brutal-looking aquascaping the other day, in that I chopped out all the bits that had no leaves on them. As a consequence we look like we’ve lost a fair few of the plants, but actually they were bits that just looked rubbishy anyway.

I only have four rainbows left; this is a bit sad. All of the harlequins and Colombian tetras are still going, though, as is Ajax of course. So… I’m thinking I need more plants… ones that might actually survive, this time. And I’m thinking about new fish, too. Serpaes, perhaps. Or silver dollars.

Simmons and others

Just finished Simmons’ Endymion, and I really did nearly cry because I have yet to find The Rise of Endymion and I’m feeling a bit desperate for some closure, thanks to the tantilising nature of this one. Doesn’t matter that I have almost a zillion books to go on with; they’re not the one I want.

I’ve got some books from school to read. One is for the English faculty – Mister Monday, by Garth Nix – to see if it’s fit to be a set text. The others were in a box in the staffroom yesterday for holiday reading, not sure why – whether they’re new (although some weren’t), or the librarians just make up boxes for teachers’ delectation. One is The Pirate Queen, by Alan Gold, which looks like a lot of fun – Elizabethan, not sure if it really is based on fact or not – the blurb says “Through the daring of her piracy Grace nearly bankrupted the English treasury; she caused nothing but trouble for Elizabeth I.” The other book I grabbed is The Ill-Made Mute, which I have largely heard poor reports of but I want to make up my own mind. Bold move, I know.

World hum

Have added a new link to the ever-expanding side bar: but how on earth could I have forgotten to add World Hum? One of my favourite ever websites, their tag is “travel dispatches from a shrinking planet.” I’ve read some of the coolest stories thanks to this site, and found some of the weirdest websites (travel by plane a lot? There’s a site to take pictures of your in-flight meal, post and rate them, or a site that tells you the best airports for sleeping in). Love it.

Bad history

I bought this book at Borders called something like A Handy History Handbook; it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was $10 and I thought it might have some interesting and/or useful facts in it.

It does.

Like the fact that the Roman Empire began in 27BC when Julius Caesar became emperor.

Bad ideas

I started playing StarCraft again on the weekend. I gave it up for ages and ages because I got up to a level that was too difficult and I decided I didn’t like it anymore. Then, on the weekend, I thought it would be fun to try playing a game with J. Bad idea; he has a level of intuition with computer games that just makes it totally unfair for me to play against him (did I mention he has built a new desk for the study? Very nice). But I have started playing by myself… which is not good, since I have reports to do at the moment.

The other thing I think was a bad idea was getting a hair cut. Other people will still think it is fairly long, but I am suffering some anxiety because it just feels too short. Hopefully I will learn to cope with this.

I wanna be like Dan

OK, so it doesn’t rhyme, but it does tell you that Dan Simmonds is my latest literary hero. I read Endymion early this year, having got it second hand and not realising – because it was not made clear on the front or the back – that this was a “500 or so years in the future of [other series]” type book. It wasn’t completely necessary to have read the first – I muddled along quite well – but it would have made life a bit easier. And also not meant that as I read the first two, Hyperion and Hyperion Falling, that I had these weird deja vu things happening (which, if you know the book, is quite a funny little in-joke). Nonetheless… I read what was effectively the third book; almost cried when I finished it because it was so beautiful, because there were two before and one after to read, and because the second-hand bookshop had none of them. I got the first two at Borders a little while ago, and I just finished the second… it is magnificent… I actually don’t think they’re quite as good as the third, but maybe that’s my rose-tinted nostalgia; I’m going to read it again soon anyway, before I read the fourth and because it will make so much more sense now.

Anyway. Highly recommended. I comes under fantasy/scifi, but is not tech-heavy (a few weird concepts, but they’re not vital to understanding), and personally I don’t think the story itself is all that fantastic, in the genre sense of the word.

Algae and snails and plants (oh my)

I feel like I haven’t written about the tank in ages. I think the less light is doing good things for our alage issues, but not sure about the plants; they don’t seem overly happy, but I’m not sure whether this is a light issue or it’s the after-effects of the algae infestation. I’ll leave it a couple of days – over the weekend – and see how it looks then. I’m going to have to do some serious aquascaping I think.

Someone accused me of not writing much about Ajax recently (J then claimed I write about him more than I do about anyone else… possibly, but he is incredibly interesting). Last night, for the general delectation of a 2.5 year old, who didn’t fully appreciate it, he decided to a pull a Floating Stunt. I was suitably impressed, anyway. He was balancing on a lily pad-like leaf right at the top of the tank, and then all of a sudden… he wasn’t on the leaf any more. He was just floating around, easy as you please. Love that neutral buoyancy. Love that snail.

The tank still feels a little bare. All the fish are about the same size – I think this is the main problem. I feel we need some quite different looking fish, preferably on the larger size I think. Maybe gourami, maybe silver dollars… J wants angels, of course, but a) I am still a little traumatised and b) I haven’t really seen nice ones recently.

Play School

I cannot believe all the stuff going on about Play School and the lesbian parent-thing at the moment. How amazing to think that both Johnnies must watch it, and feel the need to comment! Personally I think it reprehensible that they would try to quash what appears to be a genuine attempt to portray Aus diversity. If they had gone Through the Window to see … say… ostrich farmers, or Kalahari bushmen who had migrated, would there be furore? I don’t think so, sunshine. They’re running an anti-gay stance because they think that’s what will get them re-elected (hmmm, am I too young to be this cynical?). And possibly because they’re ignorant, too.