June 2007


Listening to: We Rule the School – Belle & Sebastian

I’m free! I’m free! Also, I just went to Target and I got the shakes while I was standing in line for the changing rooms, but I’m not sure if this is actually a result of the whole assignment stress/lack of sleep/lack of food issue, or if it was just a reaction to the horrible fashions. I’m sure it’ll pass soon.

Yea! I’m going to Melbourne tomorrow! Rad and I are going to tackle sock-knitting, so I’m sehr* excited.

We (mum, dad, brother and me) are going to T’s 21st birthday party this evening. I’ve never been to anyone’s fancy 21st before (they’ve hired a little hall and everything), so I’m very curious and quite pleased to have been invited, even though I won’t know very many people. There’s going to be a piñata (and it’s full of vegan lollies)!

Happy weekend/uni holidays, everyone.

*I’m trying to make Deutschlish a thing.

Listening to: Ungrammatical – The Pines

I just heard the Seven News promo guy advertise a story about how to get a workout at the gym “without hardly any effort”. Aaaargh! I know it’s Channel Seven, but really?

Listening to: Hounds of Love – Kate Bush

Crap! I forgot a vital toasted muesli ingredient – a great big heaped tablespoon of peanut butter, added to the wet ingredients. Sorry. I’ve amended the original post.

(I woke up and went upstairs to find my dad grumpily sifting fruit out of another batch of raw muesli this morning, so it’s definitely been a hit.)

Listening to: The Stranger Song – Leonard Cohen

(Watch closely at about the 4:52 mark: such commitment!)

Hello! Pictures ahead, but first – I finally saw Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man on Saturday. Oh, lordy, it was wonderful. I’m always quite reluctant to go to concert films (which is why, even though I’d quite like to see it in theory because there are cool people in it, I have never seen The Last Waltz, for example), but this was just great. Except for Bono and (The) Edge. Is Bono consciously parodying himself? His presence in the film was really jarring, although funny because he’s such a wanker. Anyway, there were otherwise no disappointments – Leonard Cohen has aged beautifully and was a wonderful interview subject, and the concert footage was surprisingly affecting (some bits more than others – Teddy Thompson has a pretty voice but doesn’t quite live up to his “Like Father, Like Son” T-shirt).

I technically still have one more assignment to go, but I’m already in holiday mode (which is okay – I think I have things under control). So I spent my Sunday making toasted muesli:

Not, as the label suggests, cornflour.

It’s based on this recipe, but I made a few modifications.
Dad’s going through a non-muesli-eating phase, so I used his homemade muesli – this was great, except that there was dried fruit in it, and the recipe said the dried fruit had to be added after the toasting (to stop it burning, I suppose – very sensible). So I decided to pick it out –

Bloody currants.

– which only took me two or three hours. (I’m sure it says a lot about me that I didn’t really find this boring, and enjoyed the chance to listen to some records.) Anyway, you can start from scratch – these are the ingredients I used:

Flakes:

2 parts good quality rolled oats
2 parts barley flakes
1 part rye flakes

Seeds and things:

handful of linseed
handful of pumpkin seeds
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of sesame seeds
two handfuls of coconut flakes
two handfuls of raw nuts – mainly almonds and pecans, plus a few hazelnuts and brazils
two-ish teaspoons of cinnamon
one ground cardamom pod

Wet stuff:

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
a very generously-heaped tablespoon of peanut butter
some vanilla extract

Fruit (added after it all comes out of the oven):
handful and a half of sultanas

Because my computer isn’t connected to the printer at the moment, I had scribbled down the basic method on a scrap of paper, and made a couple of mistakes trying to follow it. First I almost forgot the spices, then I toasted the dry ingredients for about twenty minutes before it dawned on me that I was supposed to add the wet stuff and then toast the whole lot (didn’t seem to hurt the muesli at all, though).

Anyway, I’ve had it for two breakfasts now, and it is sweet and crunchy and delicious.

Finally, any suggestions for what to do with these?:

More avocadoes than you can poke a stick at.

They’re fabulous as they are, of course, but besides lots of salad and guacamole and pizza topping, what can one do with thirteen avocadoes?

Listening to: Dhol Rinse – Asian Dub Foundation

So what do you think of this? A public library in America has dropped Dewey altogether. (Link courtesy of web-goddess.)

The very idea makes me squirm, but I can’t decide if that’s justified or not. I mean, Dewey is really flawed, but…getting rid of it altogether? Really? (Is that allowed?)

The part of the article I really take exception to is this:

Libraries are trying to adapt to changing times, experts said, and their success lies in a generation of young people who are more comfy at Borders than libraries. Across the U.S., some libraries are trying to lure readers by adding lounge chairs and coffee shops.

I mean, what, like generations past didn’t go to bookshops? Was there ever a time when Dewey actually matched people’s instincts? It’s a system you learn to use. Yes, we’re an increasingly consumer-driven society, but this idea that Borders/Google/whatever is changing the way we think, eat and breathe is getting really overblown. I’m very open to the idea that library organisation needs to change (Dewey as it stands is ghastly in its biases, for one thing), but that need predates the twenty-first century, and I really hate this whole market-driven, competitive way of thinking that public libraries are supposed to be getting into now. And I think making libraries more comfortable is a great idea, but, you know, in general, not because Borders has started some sort of revolution. (I reread this, and wasn’t sure if it made any sense – my mind is still foggy with assignments. What I was trying to say was, I’m all for progress, but I’m annoyed by the idea that progress is a new invention, and that libraries should start behaving like multinational corporations if they want to survive. Maybe I am overthinking things. Maybe I should be thinking about databases instead. Oh…)

Anyway, what are your thoughts about the Deweyless library?

Listening to: The Goodman – Kate Rusby

I got my first spam comment today! I feel like a real blogger at last.

I’ve been listening to Amsterdam Forum podcasts on my last couple of runs – the marriage one and the conscription one. I really like them (even though I’m starting to think that they deliberately choose particularly insane Americans to counter their European guests), and they offer a nice change of scene – I love Philip Adams dearly, but I’m kind of suffering from Late Night Live burnout (although I’m really looking forward to listening to his discussion of atheism with Michel Onfray). I was frustrated by the lack of political perspective on the Amsterdam Forum discussion of marriage, though – I guess there’s only so much you can pack into a 40-minute discussion, but I would’ve liked them to go further into the implications of being somebody’s wife and why that might be affecting people’s decisions not to marry.

I am still working on my database assignment. It’s going slowly and I’m freaking out a bit. I didn’t get an extension (I though it might be pushing my luck a bit after getting one for each of the other two assignments), and living on the edge is not as much fun as it’s made out to be. Aieee.

Listening to: The Beat – Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Ah, non-library-related things:

– I saw Half Nelson last week (wait – maybe it was the week before), and loved it. Has anyone else seen it?

– I just finished reading A Long Way Home by Mary K. Pershall, and last week I finished listening to Lamb by Bernard MacLaverty. Lamb was beautiful, but sad. It’s lucky MacLaverty writes such short novels. I don’t think I could take more than short bursts of him, even though I am starting to rather love his writing. I have Grace Notes sitting on my shelf, but I need time to cheer up between his books.

A Long Way Home was good(ish). It’s about an American woman who’s living in Australia in the early-’80s and starting to feel torn between Melbourne and Iowa. I picked it up thinking I’d be able to relate to that feeling-homesick-even-when-you’re-home thing, and to an extent I did and it kept me reading through to the end, but Annie Skasey was one of the most annoying characters I have ever encountered. Her indecisiveness made me want to scream; she wavered between the two places for nine-tenths of the book, and eventually came upon a solution by default/accident that I had managed to figure out within the first 20 pages. Also, the chapters alternated between ’80s Melbourne and flashbacks to her Iowan childhood, which was interesting except that she was a pretty unpleasant kid (even then, completely incapable of making a decision, which made her mean and a dreadful conformist). But, you know, it wasn’t a bad book – it was easy to read (good for the bus!), and I enjoyed the setting.

– I am making Knitty’s Knucks. I’m just weaving in the ends of my first glove, and am steeling myself for the next one (actually, it’s been really fun to knit – a little bit tricky and interesting, but not hugely difficult). I made the men’s size, because I’m using Random Op Shop Yarn and slightly smaller needles than specified in the pattern.

– I’m in the midst of an assignment that was due yesterday, that I feel alarmingly blasé about (I need panic to spur me on!). I’ve hated this course so much, and I don’t care anymore. Not only is it incredibly unlikely that I will ever be called upon to design my own library management system at any point in my library career, but having done this course won’t actually have equipped me to do it. I’m tying myself in knots just trying to skim the surface of Microsoft Access, which seems stupid. Eh. I aim to hand it in on Tuesday. I’m working this weekend, too, which was poor planning on my part.

– I walked home from uni on Wednesday, and it was so nice! It took me a couple of hours, including a stop at Big Star (I bought a couple of new records – Joan Baez and Tom Paxton [both YouTube links]) and a couple of detours to look at interesting houses. I could walk forever in unfamiliar surroundings, and it was so nice not to have to be anywhere.

Oh, crap, I’ve just made myself late for work. I hope everyone is having a pleasant day – if not, put on some early Elvis Costello and dance around your bedroom.