( Let's Talk by Sinful Colours and Sandstorm by Jamberry )
( Perennial Blue and Sandstorm )
My Imbolc manicure. I was pretty happy with it.
( Flutterby by Jamberry and Let's Talk by Sinful Colours )
( Superb Blue Fairy Wren )
( New Holland Honeyeater )
( You Can Fly )
( Dynasty )
The Jamberry wraps are proving a challenge, both with application and with photographing. I'm doing reasonably well with application, though I certainly have room to improve and try new things. Photography has been a bigger challenge as I struggle with angles. It's hard to photograph one hand with the other--so many photos are out of focus or not framed properly. I'm sure there must be some trick to it I haven't yet figured out.
This second edition of Apocalypse World landed in our mailbox today and Sahaquiel is pretty excited. It's an RPG based on Mad Max and similar media. Originally released in 2010, it won a heap of awards and its streamlined system became the basis for numerous other games, such as Dungeon World and Monsterhearts.
I'm told that the second edition of Apocalypse World came about as a result of one of the original creators seeing Fury Road.
While I'm generally a fan of Powered by the Apocalypse RPGs (as games that use the same system are called), I didn't have a great experience the one time I played Apocalypse World. I'm not much a fan of player vs player, and the campaign devolved into that a bit. It culminated in a dick move by a player set on being an asshole and I lost my shit. It's not often I completely cut people out of my life, but I did that day (and don't regret it).
I've not played Apocalypse World since then and I admit to being a little apprehensive about coming back to it.
In other tales of media consumption, on Monday night some friends talked me into watching Netflix's animated series of Voltron: Legendary Defender. I'm told it has some of the same creative team as Legend of Korra and I could really tell--there are definitely some common elements.
I was a little less than thrilled by the male dominated cast, though I suspect most of that is held over from the original series from the 80s because it is being undermined in a few small ways that make it interesting.
Do I recall hearing there was some good fanfic? I'm going to have to poke around Ao3 once I get some reading time.
The railing behind the sculpture overlooks the platypus pond at Tidbinbilla's wetland sanctuary.
The hot weather continues unabated. The aircon has been getting a work out and I've been tearing through the ice. I really need to get organised and make myself a proper batch of iced tea. But despite my complaining, I'm managing fairly well. I've had a few aches today which may suggest a storm might arrive tomorrow. A quick look at the weather bureau seems to confirm this theory. The rain will make it muggy, but the garden will welcome the water. The vegetable patch is looking a little wilted.
Work continues. After complaining how difficult I'd found writing my first review of the year, I was a little amused to discover it took me half the time to write my second review of the year. This was despite them being of comparable length. I really should learn to cut myself some slack.
Today I actually managed to wrangle a little spare time to deal with some non-urgent admin-type stuff. And promptly found that I was making more work for myself. One of my tasks was to voted in the GUFF race. GUFF is a fan fund that will be sending an Australian fan to Helsinki for WorldCon later this year. There are four nominees. I was talking with one of them on Twitter around the same time I was voting. It was about another matter entirely, but I found myself thinking about the time I ran for NAFF (which is basically the same thing, but to AussieCon rather than WorldCon). I'd offered the other nominees a chance to guest post on my blog. I figured the same thing might be useful for GUFF. So, I contacted all the nominees about being interviewed and they agreed.
On one hand I wonder why I do this to myself. It's not like I don't have enough on my plate. On the other hand, I think this is something that will be of interest to the community.
The drawback to all this work is that I've been skimping on time for my own writing again.
I'm trying a bit of a different style of blogging here, so I hope you'll bear with me. It may end up being a bit scattered.
The teabag holder above was a recent gift from a friend. Despite rumours to the contrary, I still use teabags fairly frequently and (unbeknown to my friend) had lost my tag in my tea at least twice in the preceding 24 hours. The fellow above was one is a set of four, each a little different and all very useful.
Blackberry season has begun. My in-laws presented me with a large container from their bushes. They disappeared at an alarming rate--Sahaquiel and I vanquished the last of them this evening, aided by copious amounts of vanilla ice cream. The blackberries are a little tart this early in the season, but that's just the way I like them.
The weather has been hot. Not Perth hot (also known as face-of-the-sun hot), but unpleasant. It usually cools down here at night, but not lately. Everyone has been walking around like zombies. It's particularly cruel, since most people returned to work this week after the Christmas break.
Speaking of work, it was back to writing reviews this week, and wow, do I feel rusty. It took me a bit longer than usual to write up the first one for the year. It's so easy to forget that reviews have their own style and conventions that I need time to remember. I'm hoping the next one will be a little easier. (I'll find out tomorrow)
I got my email to say I can get started with my nominations for the Hugo Awards. I've got a few thoughts about what I'm going to nominate and my usual grumbles about the domination of the field by the US and the UK. But before I can start on that, I really need to get the last of the reading for the Aurealis Awards done first.
Wow, the first week of the year has gone already.
Things have been a bit unsettled for the last few days. There have been a couple of factors. A weather change has been coming through, so Friday and most of Saturday were high pain days for me and left me feeling pretty wiped. It took me longer than it should have to realise I wasn't going to get anything productive done on Friday and settle in with a book instead.
Another thing that has been on my mind has been the demise of LiveJournal. I wasn't really active over there, but had kept my account to keep in touch with a few diehard friends who weren't really active anywhere else. However, now that LJ have moved their servers to Russia, even those few friends have jumped ship and joined up here. I've also gained a few new friends from st_aurafina's friending meme.
It's had me rethinking how I use this journal. I tend to swing back and forth about how much of my personal life I share in public and under filter. At the moment, I'm inclined to be a bit more public. I like getting to know people and I realise it can be difficult for other people to get to know me if everything is under filter. I expect at some point later down the track, I will swing back the other way again.
Also, why don't I write more about my fandoms? I grew up mostly without the internet and wasn't interested in the same media that my friends were. My consciousness of fandom didn't really start until just a few years ago. So I'm still getting used to the idea this is something I can write about and that people will be interested in.
Photography has become an interest of mine over the last few years. I don’t have a fancy camera, but find my phone generally does the trick (sometimes outfitted with a macro lens). Since the inception of Earl Grey Editing’s blog, I’ve used my own photography for posts. At the beginning of the year, I took it to a new level by shooting photos for my reviews instead of simply incorporating an image of the cover. It’s a bit more labour-intensive, but I’ve been pleased with the results.
As something fun, I thought I’d share my favourite 20 photos I’ve taken this year: 10 from the blog (or related social media accounts), and 10 from my personal life. It was surprisingly difficult to whittle down the list!( Earl Grey Editing )
( Personal )
It has been a tough year for many, making it easy to forget the beauty that has been present. These photos serve as my reminder. May 2017 bring even more moments like these.
Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.
Last weekend, Sahaquiel and I made it out to Floriade, the local flower festival. It was much later in the season than we usually go. Perhaps for this reason--or maybe all the wet weather we've had--the displays were even more spectacular this year and turned on quite a show.
( Photos ahoy! Um, there are kind of a lot... )
I think next year we will go later again and see what it's like.
I'm back to writing blog posts this week, but made the most of my holiday last week by heading out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with my family. I think my sister knew I was looking for a chance to test out the camera on my new phone.
( Wattle in the wild )
( Sculpture )
( Fungus & moss )
( Landscapes )
All in all, I had a lovely day and really enjoyed spending time with my family.
A couple of weeks ago, I met some friends out at the National Arboretum. I didn't take many photos, mostly because it's winter and many of the trees are deciduous. However, the grounds also harbour the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection. Despite (or perhaps because of) the grey weather, it was crowded, so I only managed to snag a couple of photos.
( Flowering apricot and grevillea )
Contact2016, the 55th Australian Speculative Fiction Convention, took place over the Easter long weekend. I've got a report coming up on the EGE blog, so I won't say too much about it. I had a blast but there really is no place like home. The photo above was taken on the flight over there. I made sure to get window seats on both flights and spent a good portion of the journey with my nose pressed against the window as I ogled the clouds. I spotted some cumulonimbus on the way home and experienced some interesting turbulence that caused us to drop elevation like a roller-coaster.
Fortunately, I made it home safely on Tuesday and have spent the remainder of the week quietly recovering. I didn't do too badly with sleep, managing to get a reasonable amount on most nights of the con and sleeping another nine hours the night I got home. However, my upper body was pretty sore after lugging around my book-filled bags. I got a massage on my first full day back and while it helped in the long term, it made me very sore in the short term. I'm glad my muscles have settled down.
I've done a little work this week, mostly consisting of writing up my con report. It has been light work, though. All of the effort that I put into the blog prior to Contact is now paying off--I have 2.5 weeks' worth of posts lined up, meaning I can take next week off. I figured I'd need the recovery time. I'm not quite sure what I'll do yet, maybe do a heap of reading (since Mt TBR is getting out of control) and catch up on S2 of Agent Carter. I'm struggling against the urge to catch up with all of my friends. I'd really like to, but I was peopled out by the end of the convention and it will take longer than I'd like for me to recover my social spoons.
One thing I don't miss about home is all the smoke. There's a lot of preventative burning at this time of year and the smoke triggers my hay fever. Scratchy throat, sinus headache and fatigue. Ugh. It makes for pretty sunrises and sunsets, though I hate being cooped up in the house all day. I really hope it wraps up soon.
( Photos! )
( CW: raw meat )
Cheetah, also eating lunch. His name was Dura and he seemed content to eat his lunch and largely ignore us. There were two keepers with us. One was the cheetah's handler. The other took all the photos (and, as you can see, she was really quite good. I guess she gets enough practice). They gave us very specific instructions: stay behind his front shoulder; don't touch his head; kneel or bend over in a position where you can get up quickly; if he gets up, get up; pat him with long strokes and don't ruffle his fur.
( Cheetah after lunch )
Since it had been a couple of years since we'd last visited the zoo, we took the opportunity to wander around after meeting Dura.
( More animals )
( Reptiles )
Once we were done touring the zoo, we headed into town so I could make use of a gift card I'd received for Christmas. Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat came out on Tuesday and I wanted to make sure I snagged a copy.
With my loot secure, it was out to dinner then home. I ended the day a little dehydrated, slightly sunburnt and full of aches. It was perfect.
(View from a lookout. Ah, summer.)
As per our tradition, Sahaquiel and I visited the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve on New Year's Day. I didn't take very many photos this year because it was a very hot day (even though we went in the morning) and I didn't feel I had any fresh perspective to bring to it. However, the lizards were out in full force and I was able to snag a few pictures.
( If lizards give you the creeps, best steer clear )
( Not a lizard )
Deadlines are currently chewing up all my time, but I hope to get back out there soon.