31 March 2013

What are you looking at? Weekly Link Roundup!

I haven't done a link roundup in a while. I'd like to say it's because I'm too busy writing but mostly I've been dicking around. Full time work is taking it out of me!


Have you seen the animals riding animals tumblr? It's so cute, you will squee with joy no matter who you are. Like the time I was at Epping Plaza shopping centre and two big, bogan dudes, covered in tats, were squatting in front of the window at Pets Paradise going all gooey over the cute puppy!

This dress will be mine, because a girl needs more than one red polka dot dress in her wardrobe. Okay, I have two already but one is lined and it's never the right weather to wear it. I lost my wallet on Thursday so as soon as I have a credit card, I'll be buying it.

Speaking of losing your wallet, if you are in Australia you can order pizza and other foods from Eat Now using Paypal. That means you don't need cash or a card and you won't starve to death waiting until Tuesday when the banks open.

If, like me, you hate people in animal costumes, you probably don't want to look at the Creepiest Easter Bunnies!

Are you a writer, a wanna-be writer or just writing-curious? Well Camp Nanowrimo starts on April 1st. That's in less than 1 and a half hours for us Aussies. I'm taking part and writing a series of short stories that will be totally LOLerrific (I hope).

How's your Easter been?

28 March 2013

Review: Samurai Tales


Samurai Tales: Courage, Fidelity and Revenge in the Final Years of the Shogun

Samurai Tales: Courage, Fidelity and Revenge in the Final Years of the Shogun - I actually read this a while ago but have been slack about writing up a review.

Look, a book with a picture of Sakamoto Ryoma on the cover, of course I'm going to read it.

After reading a bunch of dry and not that exciting history book for research, I loved Samurai Tales.  The writer, Romulus Hillsborough (awesome name), doesn't just relate historical facts but weaves them into stories with all the details that storytellers love.

On top of that, he added in quite a lot of ancedotal stories, stories that he's researched or heard from people who were actually there at the time.

The book does start off with a retelling of the history.  I skipped that bit because I don't need to read all that again.  Then he goes into the more detailed stories.  My favourite of these was from a descendant of one of the families who worked on the Sakamoto property.  Apparently when Sakamoto left Kochi, he borrowed money from them, promising to return it one day.  He never paid them back but they still have the IOU he gave them!  I bet that's worth much more nowadays than the original debt.

I like knowing these facts and I like knowing how regular people perceived the historical events they lived though.  Samurai Tales is definitely worth a read if you have an interest in Japanese history.  I really enjoyed it.

25 March 2013

Sunshine Award

I got nominated for the Sunshine Award by Julie at Julie's Chick Lit.  There is a graphic that goes along with it but it's a sun with a baby's face superimposed on it which I find kind of disturbing so I'm not going to post it here.

The rules are that you answer some questions then tag other people but I'm going to be one of those party poopers that doesn't tag people because that's the way I roll.  Sorry.  But I will answer the questions and, if you want to play along, let me know and I'll get editing and make it look like I tagged you all along.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I started blogging back in the dark ages and kept doing it because why rant at just one person when you can rant at the world.

How did you come up with the name to your blog?

Because it's my name and I'm writing.  Nothing clever there.

What is your favorite blog you like to read?

Hard one.  I have a few that I like to read. Lately I've been focused on writing so usually writing blogs or book promotion blogs.

Tell about your dream job.

Well someone has to dress/redress my favourite band Arashi between songs at their concerts.  What would be a better job than that?  Mmmm.....

Is your glass half empty or half full?

My coffee cup is empty and that is sad enough.  I try to mind control my sister to make more coffee.  Sometimes it works.

 If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?

I'd be happy going anywhere.  A vacation is a vacation, right.  I'd like to go to Okinawa, maybe.

What food can you absolutely not eat?

I don't like mushroom but maybe, if I were staving and there was nothing else to eat, I could eat them.  I'd find it hard to eat offal though.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Yes please.

How much time do you spend blogging?

Not enough at the moment. I get ideas but don't get time to write them. Damn job.

Do you watch TV, and if so, what are some of your favorite shows?

I don't own a TV but do watch some shows - Supernatural, Game of Thrones, various Korean dramas.

That's it for me. Questions? Comments?

23 March 2013

Everyday stories


Every morning, on the way to work, I walk through Fitzroy Gardens.  It's a pretty walk. 

Lately I've been noticing a guy.  He has a King Charles cavalier he walks in the park and he takes photos of the sky!  Of course, I have to look up in the sky to see what he is photographing, but there is nothing there.  Nothing that I notice anyway.  There is some interesting skylines around the area - old churches and the like, but he's not interested in them.  He's pointing too high to get in the tree tops.  He's just taking pictures of the sky.

If this keeps up, I'm going to have to ask him why.

21 March 2013

Auckland!

I'm heading to Auckland on April 5th for a long weekend of tourist fun.  It was kind of unplanned but I'm very excited about it.

Currently, I'm finding out as much as I can about things to do and what to see.  I don't really know that much about Auckland.

I'm going on my own.  I never used to travel alone but, over the last few years, have done it quite often.  It always amazes me how articles on women travelling alone focus on the safety aspect, which is pretty much reinforcing any fears people have about the world being a big, scary place.

I don't need that advice.  I need to know stuff like how to make decisions about what to do if you don't have anyone to bounce ideas off. 

Anyway, I should have some photos to post up and hopefully some funny stories to tell on my return.

16 March 2013

Review Fun

Julie from Julie's Chick Lit has not only posted a great review of The Bad Girls' Club, she's also put together a list of who she thinks should be cast for the film! 

But her site is not just awesome because she says nice things about me.  She also combines chick lit with dinosaurs, and that is a wonderful thing.

15 March 2013

How do you deal with a rape apologist?

Last night after work, I met my sister for some shopping and ramen eating time.  Exhausted and over-fed, we decided to get a cab home.

At one point, we were talking about a story that's been in the papers here recently, about a serial rapist who had been released on parole, attacked his girlfriend and was on the run.  In the original conviction, the judge had said this guy had commited acts so vile, it would be against the good of public morals to release the details.

My opinion is that he should never have been released on parole.  He's forfeited his right to be treated as a human being.

According the cabbie, the rapist had probably been set up by the media and some "psycho" chick out to get him. 

Maybe the cabbie was just making conversation but a complete lack of awareness that maybe two women in his cab would not want to hear this type of thing.  You are pretty vulnerable when you're in a cab. 

He then went on to say some woman are nuts and men have to defend themselves against them but they get the blame, the woman never does.  He did, begrudgingly add, 'so long as no one gets really hurt...'

By this stage, I was sending text messages to my sister, not sure how to react.

Normally, I'd have argued with him but I was so tired, I just wanted to get home.

We live a long way out of the city so getting out of the cab would have meant a long wait for another cab and we didn't feel any threat or danger from him (but that might not be the case for a younger girl on her own in the cab at night).

What would you do if you were in a cab and felt uncomfortable with the cab driver?


10 March 2013

Oh Brother, what a shit printer!

We bought a Brother wireless printer the other day, thinking it would be very handy and convenient.  What a mistake.

When it turned up, we spent about 3 hours trying to get it set up before giving up.  Then again tonight I tried to get it set up.  Firstly I thought I'd run through the USB cable instead of wireless just to make sure the printer actually worked.

But the drivers didn't work so I had to manually download the file from the Brother web site.  It took 28 minutes to download.  WTF?  I can download the entire world in 28 minutes!

Finally got it working with the cable and decided to set up the wireless.  That meant uninstalling the drivers for the cable set up and reinstalling them for wireless.

After a lot of dicking around, it wouldn't connect through the modem.  I'd just assumed that wireless meant things went from the computer to the printer, not through the modem but I was wrong.

I ended up sitting the printer next to the modem and my laptop next to that. Still nothing.

The bloody thing is going back to the store tomorrow.  I think 6 hours of my life is enough to spend getting a printer to work.

05 March 2013

Truth, dare and… Vanessa from babblingbandit.me

I've been reading Vanessa's blog for a while and love her honest writing about her struggles with addiction as well as life as a single parent.  One thing she rarely writes about though is her sexual adventures so today I'm giving her a grilling on Vanessa's craziest ever dare.

I went through a really crazy phase exploring my sexuality after I broke up with my first boyfriend. He and I had lived together for nearly three years. He was my first love and the first bloke to give me an orgasm. After we broke up I finally discovered I could accomplish this on my own. I was 26 and dying to experiment more.
I left my ex in Melbourne and moved back to Sydney and started getting heavily into meeting people through online chat rooms. It was the summer of 2000/01 and I spent a lot of time on my computer with my little 56k dial up modem starting PMs with “ASL?”, meaning age, sex, location (if you didn’t already know). A brief convo would get going and before long sex would become the main topic.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the online chat moved quickly to meeting some of these guys IRL (In Real Life). I was looking for another boyfriend but got increasingly excited by meeting random strangers off the internet. In retrospect I realise now that I was heading into another deep depression and was getting into some pretty risky behaviour. I was drinking too much and taking a lot of speed and pot too.
One guy I met was into swinging. Before then I didn’t really know much about it except for what I’d seen in movies of middle class married couples throwing their keys in a glass bowl at a dinner party to end the night with a wife swap.
Thinking back I can’t even remember this guy’s name now. He told me about a club in Sydney where you could only enter if you were with a partner and he really wanted me to go along with him. It was $100 per couple. He said he’d pay. I was loaded up on booze and speed and thought, what the fuck. It would be another thing I could say I had done that none of my friends had. I have always been into daring myself into having experiences for experience sake.
I meet this bloke for the first time and I wasn’t into him at all. I still really wanted to go to the club though. We rocked up to this joint on Bourke Street in Darlinghurst. It was a dingy old terraced house. Inside everything was quite dark. We had to go through to a change room. Everyone had to be stripped naked except for a towel. There were strict rules for everyone involved. No touching unless you’d been given express permission by the touchee.
All drinks were included in the price of admission. I remember drinking those little ‘throw down’ stubbies of VB. I looked around the downstairs area and wasn’t that impressed. There was a spa in the back of the room that anyone could use. The guy I was with explained to me a lot of the girls there were prostitutes.
I was pretty nervous but tried to hide it by being amused by it all. Walking around to another dark corner of the room there was a spiral staircase going up. Underneath the staircase there was some BDSM type equipment. I wasn’t interested in that at all. Further up the stairs there was a room that I remember seeing a stack of naked people in having an orgy. The smell, sight and the sounds were intense. It was a seedy sensory overload. I was officially freaked out and wanted to get out of there.
Men were following me everywhere. The guy who took me explained it was because I seemed “real”. Compared to the other girls who were hookers I guess I was real because I was free.
Security was heavy at this place. A guy would just have to get too close and the bouncer was warning them away from me. He must have seen my innocence in such a grotty place and wanted to protect me.
It wasn’t long before I was dressed and back on the street. That was the last I saw of that guy from the chat rooms. I think he felt ripped off because I didn’t shag him.
It was a weird experience but at least I can say I’ve been to a swingers club!

Vanessa’s number one role is as sole parent to her beautiful four year old son. When not playing baddie to her son’s superhero, she is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Internet Communication, as well as blogging her heart out at babblingbandit.me.
With more than a few issues and a serious case of Overshare Disorder, at babblingbandit.me Vanessa reveals all about her long time battles with those bitches Depression and Anxiety as well as with the ever present Diet Demon, all while maintaining her sobriety from drug and alcohol addiction.
A committed caffeine addict she gets through life on Diet Coke and piccolo lattes.

04 March 2013

Read an Ebook Week

As part of the Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords, The Bad Girls' Club is available for a special 50% off discount. That's pretty damn sweet.

The Bad Girls' Club - available at Smashwords

At Smashwords, you can download it for kindle or any other type of ebook or device, including pdf and online reading.  Perfect for those who aren't kindle-centric.

From recent Goodreads reviews:

I found the story to be an easy read that at times will make you laugh out loud, its a great pick me up for those rainy days.  And as a single girl its great to read a book that shows its ok to be single, in fact its great to be single.

I had a lot of fun reading ‘The Bad Girls' Club’. There was plenty of humor, a good dose of sexual heat, and the stories of how three very different women find themselves and good friendships through a dare club.

PRICELESS!!! This book is completely and utterly priceless. I don’t remember the last time that I laughed so hard. I’m still laughing now. It was sheer brilliance.


So what are you waiting for?  This promotion is for one week only!

02 March 2013

How to Wear More Polka Dots

I'm mad for polka dots.  Wearing polka dots makes me 24% happier on most days.  So I've decided to challenge myself to wear polka dots EVERY DAY this month.  I call it the March of Polka Dots.

I know some people aren't so committed to polka dots but if you want to incorporate more dots, and therefore more happiness, into your wardrobe, here are some easy ways to do it.

Polka dot stockings:

You can be as subtle or bold as you like with polka dots on your legs.  Just make sure the pattern doesn't make you look like you have some kind of legs-only chicken pox.

Polka dot hair accessories:

A clip, a scarf, a hair tie - all subtle just super cute. I have big bows and tiny bows and a really handy scarf for keeping my hair back.  I also had a few other cute clips that have disappeared.  I should look for them.

Polka dot underlayer:

A tee-shirt or singlet of polka dots peeking out from under your clothes.  Still polka-dotty but much more discreet.

Do you love polka dots?  Do they make you happier?  I love the classic red with white polka dots, which combination do you prefer?