(no subject)

I should know better. Middle of last week I was talking to someone at work and said something along the lines of "Yeah, I've lost some weight, and the exercise is making me feel pretty good, and I'm feeling less depressed than I've been in ages." Big mistake. Because the universe decided to even the score and my bags got stolen at the pool last Thursday. So I lost the lot. The important stuff like my passport and my credit card etc is a pain - especially the passport which is proving difficult to replace (trying to get enough ID together when you've just lost your bag is not easy). But I'm more upset about some of the things that had sentimental value, like the book I was reading which my mum gave me as a birthday present one year. And to make it even worse I discover that particular book now goes for $50 (and that's US dollars!) second-hand. To rub salt in the wound, they also took my clothes (and I was wearing my favourite top that day), so I had to get home wearing a load of lost property. And then for pepper in the wound as well, they left one shoe in the locker. One shoe. So no wonder I'm depressed again.

Anyway, to other things. Found this - The Commonly Confused Words Test via ithiliana

This is what I scored:
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 66% Expert!
You have an extremly good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels's questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don't use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.

I reckon the punctuation questions must have been under 'Expert' as I don't understand colons and semi-colons at all. It's not a brilliant test - I could think of lots more commonly mis-used words they could have included.

What was more interesting was that they asked for your age and at the end there were these statistics:
- Compared to users who took the test and are and in your age group (I'm 34 btw):

* 100% had lower Beginner scores.
* 100% had lower Intermediate scores.
* 100% had lower Advanced scores.
* 100% had lower Expert scores.

- With respect to Beginner, users aged 55 to 59 scored highest.
- With respect to Intermediate, users aged 55 to 59 scored highest.
- With respect to Advanced, users aged 55 to 59 scored highest.
- With respect to Expert, users aged 55 to 59 scored highest.

Now possibly the sample size is teensy and possibly people aren't putting in their ages correctly. But this sounds pretty depressing re decline in standards re English.

(no subject)

Am doing the "Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't" meme, mainly out of inferiority complex. Keep reading everyone else's and thinking that I haven't done anything unusual at all, so I am going to cudgel my brain to come up with 10 things, no matter how stupid they are. BTW has anyone ever mentioned the wonderful appropriateness of the word "meme" (me me!!)?

So, Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't (in more or less chronological order)
1. Been the object of a weird witch craze in high school, complete with accusations that you're the spawn of the devil and crosses waved at you.
2. Wagged school (the one and only time) to hear Gough Whitlam give a speech.
3. Had the sight in one eye buggered by complications of adult chicken pox. (serious advice - avoid getting chicken pox as an adult)
4. Had a security vetting interview for a job at a submarine base. (My first ever proper job - and it was an incredibly menial admin job too. Being vetted was weird. One of the questions was, "Have you ever been on a demonstration against a government policy?" (or similar). Well of course I bloody have! Hello, democracy, we're allowed to do that here. Which is pretty much what I said to the vetting guy.)
5. Been booked into a very small, hot, stuffy hotel room at a convention; left the window open to attempt to get some air in; come back to room to find that it's full of pigeons.
6. Taken photos of damn near every Pictish stone in Scotland.
7. Token celeb entry - been crashed into in Franklins by Margaret Pomeranz with a shopping trolley. (Pathetic isn't it, I've never encountered anyone famous outside of "can I have your autograph please?")
8. Gone canyoning (although maybe not very unusual, given the number of companies that run canyoning trips).
9. Had a massive obsession with a dead guy for the last 20 years.
10. Been commitedly celibate for the last 10 years

(no subject)

Can we really blame fannish writers for their Mary Sues, when there are so many of them in published fiction? And yes, I do have an opinion on this, but first a character description which would shriek "Mary Sue" if seen on the Pit.

Sue-ness and some ramblingCollapse )

In other news, I *finally* saw 'Kinsey'! Don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said - it's bloody good. I think I may have to become a Bill Condon fangirl.

(no subject)

A quick wibble about something that weirded me out recently - the great outburst of rejoicing that happened when Orlando Bloom broke up with his girlfriend. I guess it especially weirded me out because it happened in a forum which is usually fair to middling sensible.

I can't quite wrap my brain around why it matters if he has a girlfriend or not. Is the idea that if he is girlfriendless, this improves their chance of becoming his girlfriend? No offence intended, but the chances have got to be slimmer than an anorexic matchstick. Or is it that it makes it possible to *fantasize* that they're his girlfriend. This seems slightly less odd, but maybe lacks imagination. I mean, if you're fantasising, why not just create a nice alternate universe? Reality is no obstacle - if you want to fantasize yourself as a famous movie director or a genetically engineered immortal with superpowers, and Orlando Bloom single, what's to stop you?

The hostility to wives and girlfriends thing has always struck me as a bit weird as well - immature and unkind. But then maybe I'm weird in the opposite direction, since I've been known to develop crushes on the wives/girlfriends as well. One case in particular, I remember actually getting all teary when they got divorced.

I spose this is one of those things where I just don't get it.

(no subject)

As I may have mentioned previously, I'm an atheist of the card-carrying, hard-line variety. To my eyes, the evidence says that there is no god. Or at least that there is definitely no benevolent-to-humans god. There may possibly be a malevolent god, or one with a deeply warped sense of humour, or one with thought proceses so alien that I can't begin to understand them, or one that doesn't give a bugger about humans. I don't believe any of these exist either, but it wouldn't make any difference if they did, because I wouldn't be worshipping them anyway.

I spent this weekend cleaning my flat - moving all my furniture and possessions, vacuuming, then moving them all back. The main purpose of this activity was to try and stem the invasion of cockroaches that seem to be taking over. And it occurred to me, while moving a box full of old zines and cockroach droppings, that it's far more likely that the cockroaches are god's chosen species. It goes something like this:

The Gospel according to cockroachesCollapse )


Since I've survived with all limbs intact etc, some burbling about what I did on Saturday - I went canyoning in the Blue Mountains. Readers may feel free to tell me I'm completely stupid, but since I'm totally fine, I'm not going to take any notice. For background info, a guy was killed on a canyoning trip in the Blue Mountains recently. There are those who wonder why people insist on doing a stupid and dangerous thing like canyoning, but the simple answer is because it's absolutely and completely brilliant!

I was planning to post this on Sunday, but it ended up longer than I expected. So if you don't want to read 3000 words of Eshva's canyoning outing, flee now!

The trip - in excrutiating detailCollapse )