Thursday, December 23, 2010

At last, my Christmas has come along,

First I have a few things to talk about before I get on to Christmas. Today I had my second weigh-in in, well, forever really and it turns out since last fortnight I've lost a kilo and a half. Nobody was more surprised than me, I don't actually own a set of scales, I really don't believe in them.
Personally I'm less obsessed with a set of numbers and more obsessed with how I look in my clothes or if I can get back into my jeans already.

Now getting back to my weigh-in, and my surprise I knew it was happening but I can't say I've gone out of my way to do extra to help it along. Especially given the pavlova and eggnog I quaffed just yesterday. In a way I have been slightly aware of making better choices to eat and of course workign on portion control by actaully measuring what I am eating. A tedious but necessary evil!
I have also managed to totally curb my peanut butter eating, and the cheese.

After this triumphant piece of news, and content with the knowledge I probably could indulge in a piece of Xmas pudding and cream (or maybe light cream?) I scurried off to K-Mart to seek out So Fresh Christmas 2010 CD, I must admit my disappointment at their lack of choice of other Christmas cd's normally they have loads of choice. Not this year, but no fear as I downloaded Twisted Sister's Twisted Chrisstmas through iTunes and Miss Stash bought the Glee Christmas album. New Christmas music glut! Although I must confess the Twisted Sister one is the best.
Glee as much as I love it is just a tad too chipper Disney sounding.

Anyway while I was at the K-Mart I had a very joyous moment, I found Season 1 of 30 Rock, you may remember from a previous post where I talked about only be able to find Season 2. Not only did I find Season 1, it was only $16!
This was followed by another happy thought when I remembered I still hadn't finished watching all of Scrubs Season 1 yet. I've still got half a season to go. Take that bad summer tv!

Another thing I am aiming to do over summer is to try and see my way to the end this time of the Roller Derby Workout Challenge.
Other things I like to give a try over summer is try on some more vegan cooking for size and dip my toe into the raw food movement.

This is my tribute to Christmas...

Probably would have been cheaper to just buy the chocolates, but I think it was worth it to pay the extra to get the benefit of someone else's time and expertise.

No other cooking yet, but I'll try to get pictures of anything I do get round to making this Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Don't Cha

Dont cha wish your life was fun like mine? Dont cha, dont cha?

"To look at you, you wouldn't think you were very energetic. But the way you jumped out of that chair and leaped into my office, your obviously naturally very energetic. Don't resist it." - My doctor to me on my last visit.

It's a good thing I am so energetic as earlier this week I had to leg it down to the back garden of a two-storey house in a big hurry. The Daft White Cat and I have been house sitting. It's now over, and I never once managed to convince Miss Stash to have a vegetable curry. Sad.
Back to the story at hand, I only open the doors onto the balcony that had fly screens to keep the DWC in. Only I had to open one that didn't to chase a fly out, DWC also got out.

While I'm trying to move outdoor furniture to retreive him from where he was hiding, I just saw the white tail and back legs disappearing into a tree that grows next to the balcony. I rushed downstairs and out into the garden, over to the tree. No sign of him under it, peer over fence into neighbours garden no sign of him there. I'm trying to peer up into the tree thinking maybe he is stuck up there and I need to find a ladder to get him down. No DWC in the tree either.

He was gone, there I was standing in the garden convinced I've lost him for good and feeling all sad, when I catch sight of something white under some bushes about 5 meters away from the tree.
It was a DWC, completly oblivious to the panic he's caused me, merrily sniffing the plants in the garden. I was thrilled to find him. Alas the DWC was more thrilled with the garden than with me.

Snaffled up and brought back into the house, I'm panicking about him, the DWC? Just capers about the house like nothing happened at all. We had a one sided conversation where I informed the DWC he might have 9 lives, but I have only 1 and it's been considerably shortened by him climbing into trees off balconys. It ended when the DWC rushed to the window to watch birds flying outside.
I know when I'm defeated, another battle to the cat, at this rate I think I should just concede the war and be done with it.

Once a week since I've been doing the Healthy For You, I have to do the naked eyeball. Stand in front of the mirror naked, and eye myself off as I do quarter turns. This week I have shrunk, which I'm pleased about. So far I have one of two results, I've shrunk or nothing's obviously changed at all. So far, touch wood, to my delight I haven't actually been putting anything on anywhere. Yes! I rock.

I can also touch my toes, which seems incredible, it's been years since I've been able to do that. This is surely a good sign?

Not the so positive, I failed my accounting unit and will need to repeat it this year, which I am a tad annoyed about because it now I have to post pone another 2 subjects that I need to have it for.
Really a) I struggled on the exam so I'm not surprised this happened.
b) I struggled during the semester so not surprised about a)
c) Loads of people (me included) failed to pass the in semester test. About 10 people actually passed, the rest of us got not close, quite not close or perhaps you should reconsider your subject choices level of marks.

End result? I suspect I'll spot a few familiar faces when I re-do the subject.

Something I am madly in love with at the moment is e-books. They tend to be really cheap, there's no extra cost for postage and they arrive almost instantly!

Just before Halloween I bought Wicked Treats from Bittersweet. I haven't actually made anything from it yet sadly. But am intrigued about the licorice recipe. I haven't really baked or made any sweet things in forever, well apart from a couple batchs of muffins loaded with fruit.
Christmas is approaching now's the time to make goodies and give them away I suppose.

Last month I bought the EtsyVeg Team's World Veg Day Cookbook, haven't made anything out of this either. Trouble is I am notoriously bad about cooking for myself. And the rest of the family just can't be enthused about vegetarian food. Who are these people? And how is it that I can actually be related to them???

The latest e-book purchase or should I say purchases was for Potluck Mania zine number's 1 and 2. These I've only just got, but they are full of yummy things. And I totally want to hijack the Thanksgiving menu for a Christmas one. Pumpkin Spice Bread with Streusel Topping how good does that sound?

While I've always been down with vegetarianism, I always was a bit sceptical about vegans. My mind has been changed, I can't see myself tagging myself with that title any time soon. I like wool and alpaca yarns way too much to forgo them forever.
But I am now intrigued about raw foodists, it is a vegan diet, but nothing is cooked as such. Although the one book I have seen on the subject things were "cooked" in a dehydrator, food couldn't be heated past a certain tempature to be considered "raw". I think it would be a fascinating topic to know more about and even experiment with, but I can surely say it wouldn't be a lifestyle of choice for myself.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Pretty quiet on today's front. Had a session of Mari Winsor's pilates with a resistance band this morning, a lot of fun but I'm not really very stretchy. Ah well with practice I suppose.

Tonight before bed I am hoping to do some relaxtional yoga, see if it helps me settle down and sleep better at night.

Last night I tried to tape the first episode in a series called Mistresses, it's hosted by that woman who's name I've forgotten but co-hosted Scrap Heap Challenge with Robert Llewellwyn (aka Kryton from Red Dwarf - took ages to figure out why he seemed familiar).
Anyway back to Mistresses last night's episode was meant to be interviewing Jeffrey Archer's (some British dude is all I know, think he writes books?) ex-mistress, a serial mistress, a dominatrix and a mistress who had a child with her married lover. And also the bit I was most interested in, talking about one of history's most famous mistresses, Cleopatra.

Only it must have been bad reception last night on the channel, because the sound works fine but I have a lot of problems with the picture freezing up.
I was highly insulted, a study found they said men prefer blondes, followed by red heads for mistresses and brunettes for wives. Second to blondes???
Although I will confess I'm less miffed about not being a bride, would you eat the same food everyday at all meals and be happy? No I'd be bored in no time. I do object both morally and selfishly to having to share, when your with me, it's only me! But still second to blondes.

A German study a few years ago released results that said that red headed women were the most passionate at playing chess. Although if using a board game analogy perhpas Twister would be better. Unless it's a woman in a commited relationship who is dying her hair red, in which case she's subliminally advertising to other men that she's currently unsatisfied playing Twister with her current partner.

Now you'll have something to think about with your hair colour now won't you? Especially if your dying it something other than your natural colour!

Friday, December 03, 2010

My date with diestiny

I had my appointment with my dietition today, I am very excited. My diet is pretty good, I need ot keep eating what I'm eating but just less of it. Too much of a good thing can also add weight if your not using it all up.

My peanut butter addiction has to be curbed, working off current consumption, I'm at 15kg a year! And given I'm eating quantities that gives me an energy intake equivelent to a full meal, so not good. Especially given that I've probaly had the PB as a snack from the jar pre-dinner....eep!

I've come away also more aware about glycemic loading (different again to glycemic index), carb exchange and the start of calorie/kilojoule counting (I can pick which ever I prefer).

And the really good part? I seem to be getting enough protien to meet my needs, without actually needing to increase my meat intake. Something I have been hoping to avoid.

Oh and I also scored a free tape measure, bonus! And I have had my fears about the BMI put to rest, it's less usueful than it appears.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Now in a new fun size!

I've been trying to do mini-blogging, just little short posts. I hoped I might be able to keep it up everyday. We'll see.

Yesterday I ordered a copy of Appetite For Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I've had all her books bar Brunch through my local library and she has a fantastic style and comes across as very passionate about food.
I'm going to be jumping out at the postie everyday till it arrives now I am so excited about it, this one of Isa's (rhymes with pizza) is about low-fat low-sugar vegan cooking.

On the weekend I am planning to make these from her website - Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles. Granted mine won't be vegan, I can't justify opening non-dairy milk just for this when I have so much dairy needing to be used up first in my fridge. They sound delicious and I read about them on another vegan food blog where they'd been having a month of cookies. I will look up the name later and link to it here for anyone who's interested.

Today I had an adventure to town, it truly was an adventure, involved comedic timing to miss the bus to get there to start with. Dawdles in the Body Shop haven't been in to it in years, they still have the exquisite white musk scented stuff and I tested out their hemp body butter. My skin does feel quite lovely having tried it. The hemp body butter does have a slightly unusual scent though and have no idea how best to describe it.

Quite a few of the newer veg cook books I have been reading make reference to hemp products for use in cooking. I must investigate here and see if we have any available.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where I talk once again about my ambivelance to Christmas

I've oft talked about my annoyance and disregard for Christmas and all it's trappings. But also about how passionate I am about food magazines and generally cooking in general and how I obsessivly peruse and collect these as the silly season rolls around.

This year, not even the prospect of baking up a storm can temper my disdain for the silly season. I was perusing a homewares catalog with my mother while telling her how I didn't see the point to Christmas.
And my mother says to me "Christmas is nice."
Nice? Nice? "I don't think Christmas is nice."
"You must be a throw back to your father's side of the family."

I beg to differ I think it is the Christmas lovers who might be the odd ones out, there must be a certain level of madness where you can actually believe you enjoy Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Multi-media joys

I was poking through my workout dvd's this morning and was bamboozled by what I had done with two of my pilates ones. So I had to do that thing, where I pretended I was a pilates dvd in order to think like one and imagine where I would hide myself.

After elimanating the obvious places I would have put them, I opted for the not likely but I have to look anyway, opened up a desk drawer and there they were. But not just my missing pilates dvd's but also another 2 dvd's I had completly forgotten about. A yoga-pilates blend and Chakra Dance Flow - Movement Meditation, both still in their original wrappers.

It's like having your birthday all over again. Speaking of presents, I got a Sanity gift card last Chrsitmas, yes Xmas '09. You have a year in which to use it before it "expires", if it's considered the equivelent of cash, but cash dosen't expire? Weird.
I came home with Scrubs - Season 1 and 30 Rock - Season 2 (unfortunatly they didn't have Season 1).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Maybe this year

Things I say I will make for every Christmas and then don't but this year will surely be the exception!

1. Gingerbread House
2. Buche de Noel
3. Fruit Mince Pies
4. Panaforte
5. A buffet table loaded down with the things I like - seafood, assorted veg dishes and dessert.
6. A truly epic edible centerpiece. Like trees constructed out of truffles or those chewy lolly leaves. Because you totally need something to wheel out with coffee after lunch.
7. A bunch of people who will come to lunch and tell me how a) fabulous I am, b) pretend I'm witty and laugh at all my jokes and c) tell me how wonderful my food is a la Nigella. Oh and d) be impressed by awesome hat, I need a really big hat.

Quick question how often have you seen someone at one of Nigella's dinners more than once? Do they just grab people off the street? Hire extras?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well, let me tell you...

Isn't that how all stories start? I have been absent from blog land, because a) I had nothing really blog worthy to write about, b) I figured I could give my blog a revamp and unveil it with a new look but it turns out I'm not that technically sound at webpages.

I had a very exciting afternoon yesterday, went on a road trip for a knitting adventure, met lots of new knitters and had some delicious treats (ginger coffee no less!). Unfortunatly today has become a bit of an anti-climax with nothing exciting happening.
Now all I can do is be really, really, really excited about our next knitting adventure.

World Dance New York who I love for their choice of DVD productions and who you may remember me writing exctedly about their How to be a Pin-Up Model some time ago when I received it, are now about to release another gem that has my heart all a flutter...Femme Fatale How To: - Makeup, Hair, Accessories Step-by-Step for Victorian Vampire, Flapper Vamp and Gothic Lolita.

And just because I feel soemtines life can be a little dull, and sometimes you can just take yourself too seriously, in effect of that 2011 for me will be the Year of the Disguise - yes 2011 shall be the year I don wigs and false eye lashes (False Eyelash Love!) and people watch in cafe's while drinking skinny lattes. Not that I expect to be incognito at all, people who know me will see me and say "Look there's DarksideKnitter in a wig in a cafe."
Probably I should be knitting, doing something while I loiter in cafes. Or playing with a knitting app, I wonder if they exist? I've been dead keen on an iPod Touch since Nigella released her app for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and have been looking for more reasons to justify purchasing one, like a whole load of free yoga apps, Poh's Kitchen app (also free!) and now Dick Smith have the iPod Touch's starting about $225. Hmm wonder if there'll be any left after Chrstmas???

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Healthy for Me!

Quite some time ago I took on the Healthy For You Challenge, and then I kind of fell off the wagon.

I sort of got back on a few months ago, and made a half hearted effort to clean my act up. But about a month ago I saw my doctor and it's back on the carb battling diet. I had this about 2 years ago and it was so hard. I love, love, love carbs.

2 years ago it was no potatoes, no white bread only wholemeal, no pasta at all, brown rice only but if I really couldn't face it only long grain white.

This time around it's multigrain bread, which is good because I really really really hate wholemeal bread. No potatoes again, but I can and should be substituting sweet potato in for it when cooking, actually I like sweet potato better than potato anyway so it's all good. Brown or Basmati rice, I always eat basmati rice, and I eat it lots, at least 3 to 4 times a week. It's become my go to carb since I've cut right back on potatoes and pasta on the last couple of years.
And pasta has now come off the no-go list, but only as an occasional.

For the past month I have been really good, porridge for breakfast, wholegrain bread, no sugar in my coffee/tea, eating way more fruit and veg and generally avoiding naughty things like chocolate, biscuits, cake, fast food and even the diet soft drinks.

End result? I'm eating better but less, but I'm not hungry and actually find I eat smaller serves of things now as well. No more insomnia, mid afternoon meltdowns or sugar cravings.
Best of all I've actually lost some weight and my 2-block walk has gone from 30 mins to 15 mins, I need to do 2 laps to get the same amount of time as when I started.

When I saw the doctor this week he was pleased, I was pleased, and better yet there was no more talk of lapbands, which pleased me even more. When I saw him a month ago, I don't know if he genuinely thought the only way I'd lose weight was with the aid of surgery or as I saw it, the gauntlet had been thrown and I've spent the last month out to prove a point.
I'm now to keep up the good work, and see the doctor again in a month. I've started a food diary to keep track of what I am eating so if things start to stagnate a bit I can look back over it and see what needs tweaking to get things moving again and also as a way I can look back and see how much good work and effort I have put in and how I actually can do it.
I can have a Bob the Builder moment, yes I can!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's official I'm free to be naughty!

Yes, my exams are over so I have time now ot be naughty and plot lots of mischief to get into.

One of the things I have previously talked baout getting up to in my living room was the How To Be a Pinup Model DVD. Which duly arrived before my break started and well I couldn't resist and had to have a look at it.
Personally I think a "complete guide" is a tad overgenerous, there was plenty of room for more I think on this DVD, perhaps it should have been a "beginners guide". As cool as the hair styles were I am still a little dubious about curlers, there was a reason I bought a hair straightner!

Something that has been on my want list forever, Bellydance for the Beautiful Freaks with Tempest. Oh yes Gothic Bellydance is very much alive and kicking, although this wonderful dvd from Tempest is more about merging belly dance into something mostly suited for the dance floor in a Goth club. Not that we have a Goth club where I live, I believe there is one or was one in the capital city.
Maybe I'm glad I have a feeling here in my locale a Goth club would only be filled with poseaurs. Because let's face it, Gothdom is mostly populated by the young and I speak from experience, to prove how non-conformitive you are with society and how much cooler you are, you are such a poseaur, yeah look at me I'm death personified! Ooogie boogie!

And then you grow up, and probably grow out of the need to be a special snowflake or you simply have money of your own and can have as many coffin handbags, stompy boots and lacey tops your budget can with stand. Because somebody somewhere has to keep all those people employed who make rubber bats and plastic skeletons!

I don't get Emo, I can't see the appeal it seems so dreary, even the music is dreary, and there seems to be license for full on drippiness in the Emo domain. At least Gothdom was all about fun and campyness or at least in the School of Trashy Goth I burst cackling from it was. I do realise there are actually some quite classy Goths who dress very well and are probably far from tacky at all.

Which is what I love so much about knitting, especially now, it so lends itself well to the construction of things to complement your wardrobe so well, shawls and fingerless gloves anyone? Or my latest addition to my Avarice list is this Patons Metro Volume 4, full of good things. Also really like the designs if not the colours in Patons Surf and Beach, another I'd liek to get my hands on.

Before I ordered Beautiful Freaks, I ordered from the same supplier Tribal LA - Live in Los Angeles (you'd think the LA part would be a give away to start with). I was waiting, waiting, waiting and BF turned up really quickly given it shipped from America. But still no Tribal LA! I was getting a tad worried, but when it was actully shipped I got an e-mail telling me it was sent and if it hadn't arrived by a certain date to please e-mail.
The date duly came and passed last week, so I e-mailed on the weekend to let them know it hadn't and general wailing because I was sad as it had obviously been eaten by the postal service.

Blasted thing turned up today didn't it? I had to rush to my computer to hastily write another e-mail and ask them to disregard my previous e-mail as it had turned up today. Felt a bit of an idiot, oh well it happens I suppose. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the local postal service now contracting a number of deliveries out???

My fave Rachel Brice is alas not on this DVD, however my other girl crush Sharon Kihara is! In all her tattooed wonder, she's very tall and thin and this makes me very envious.
I shall have to make a time to watch it and finish my mother's hats for her, she has two that need to go on to the double points to finish decreasing and one on the double points also needing to be finished decreasing.

But once all three hats are done, that will be another three she has ready to send off to Tibet. It's not till you here about how the other half are doing till you really appreciate all you have. I've got a lot to be thankful for, more than just missing DVD's arriving eventually!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What have I created?

My mum is off and running with her knitting in the round on circulars, however I have to transfer the stitches to double points and finish the decrease as she hasn't mastered that yet.

I seem to have contracted a cold from one of my fellow germy students. That's the only trouble when your moving around a campus and touching chairs and desks and shared computers with a number of other people, alhtough I try to take full advantage of the antiseptic gel stuff for your hands which are available scattered around campus. Probably should have supplemented it with one of those tiny bottles I could have stashed in my bag.

I have fallen in love with a German band by the name of Corvus Corax, there quite a popular choice with bellydancers who do some of my personal favourite styling of fusion. Punk rock meets Medieval is how I have heard it described.

It's a future must to go on my iPod, along with a band I found on You Tube in the related video side bar while looking at Corvus Corvax, called Apocalyptica a Finnish Hard Rock Cello band. Yes, that's right a hard rock cello band.
I must say I wasn't all surprised to discover they were European, I must say they produce some very interesting rock/metal bands in Europe. However H.I.M., which I will admit has a fantastic look, very European goth always done well, I have yet to hear any of there music that I actually like. I am disappointed.
With Eurovision been and gone again, springs to mind the band Lordi? I must see if I can track them down on You Tube I have never heard anything from them. Hmmmmm.....

I need to do some more work on my Knit for Tibet hat, speaking of Tibet I was reading about an Australian climber who has just done his third trip up Everest. He was talking about the bodies he had passed on the way up and apparetnly also a couple of climbers from other groups who died on the descent and how they could do nothing for them.
Apparetnly on the Nepal side of Everest, Sherpas are endevouring to recover the bodies of those who have died on the mountain.

There was a series on tv about the Himalayan Rescue Association and the about medical staff working at Everest treating climbers and Sherpas during the season. Very interesting, and amazing just how many people were climbing Everest!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What I will be doing on my holidays...

I've finished my last piece of continuous assesment yesterday at school, so now I have a couple of final classes where we will basically do revision and then I just have to study, study, study for my impending exams.

Then after my exams are done I will be on break, what will I do for my holidays? Well, some time ago I pre-ordered a DVD and impaiently awaited it's release. Mind you I didn't place my pre-order as soon as it become possible, something I was glad for when the release date got pushed back twice.
It seems to have stuck this last time and today was release day, and my copy has shipped! It's coming from America so I don't expect it for at least 3-4 weeks. It should by that timing arrive after I haver finished my exams.

And since June is so not conducieve to outdoor activites in my part of the world, far too cold, it will be a perfect in my living room activity.

However I do fear a slight complication, the only hair styling implement I own apart from brushes and combs is a hair straightner. Hmmmmm....I think world's are going to collide and I'm not going to be happy, I've been trying to get my not naturally straight hair straight for years. However I must confess to many, many, many, many years ago when I was much, much, much younger and probably only slightly less foolish than I still am, actually attempting to iron my hair.
Nothing, nada, zip, didn't make the slightest impression on it at all.

There'll also be more time to knit, I have temporarily put all my projects on hold as I have started a hat for Knit for Tibet through the Ravelry. They are trying to get as much warm knitwear over before the cold spell really hits in August (-10C!) so I'm on hat and cowl duty, two things I know I can knit up relatively quickly and not need to sew up.
I have a lot of empathy for anyone who has to endure sub zero tempetures. Having spent a fair bit of time at bus stops early morning in winter at temps that ranged from 0C down to about -4C, that was cold enough for me and I was well wrapped up with hat, scarf, coat and mittens and still cold!

I taught my Mum how to knit in the round and she almost knit an enitire hat in one night she had to stop as she needed to transfer from the circular needles to double points which I need to look out for her as she dosen't have any, to finish the final decrease.
After all these years of telling me she can't knit in the round, it's too tricky, she could never do that. I wanted so badly to say to her what she always says to me, see what you can do when you put your mind to it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I am so annoyed, I have to do a presentation for one of my subjects next week. Well we had a sign up sheet in class to fill in our preferred time. Then they did a new sheet with more times, as they decided to extend how long on that day they would do presentations.

Turns out I'm the only person for Monday afternoon, everyone else who chose Monday picked a morning slot. Our assessor Monday is coming up from the Hobart campus, so I've been asked if possible if I would take a morning slot instead since it's just me in the afternoon and late afternoon at that.
Because I picked a late time, as my only class on Monday is late afternoon so I picked one about an hour before my lecture, presentations 5 minutes I well and truly expected to be done and over with.

I'm cross, because I thought they offered those times and they were obviously prepared for our assessor to be here all day. It's not really convenient for me, it's just too much hassle to come in, go home and then come back which means depending on what times are left I could be here all day trying to fill in time.
Now I normally have a day like this anyway, but I can pass the time doing my tute work ready for the rest of the week or working on assignments. But there's none of that to be done next week. Those subjects still having a tutes are simply going to be revision and exam prep, where we turn up and they tell us what to expect on the exam and what we should prepare for.
Mind you one of mys ubjects is not having a lecture or tute next week - that's the one I have the inconveniently timed presentation for.

Another thing I am annoyed about, you know winter's hit when all the boots come out. All the young things are striding around campus in boots, not a ballet flat in sight. Every year boots come in to fashion for winter, I love boots, out I go in search of a pair. Every year they have all got pointy toes! And every year I can't buy any boots because my feet don't fit into pointy toed shoes or boots, not unless I buy too big and have a clown shoe thing going on. Not practical at all.

But an exciting thing, I remembered I am going to Knitting in the Pub tonight, I had forgotten that. When I remembered it was highly exciting. I shall be endevouring to finish the Autumn Dash mittens I am working on, then hopefully my hands won't freeze off and I can get more knitting done.
I am attempting to be really cheap this winter, after last winter where I was a bit extravgent ran the heater a lot at a very high temp, I am going so far with putting more layers on this year. Then if I'm still cold I can put the heater on but low only. So far so good.

Another exciting thing I haven't talked about yet, or at least I don't think I have is, I'm going to see Bill Bailey!!!
Only now I have to be good inbetween now and when he arrives (July!) because if Miss Stash decideds I have been too naughty she'll not let me have my ticket. We booked online with her credit card so they mailed the tickets out to Miss Stash who has them stashed away, I am not allowed to have mine In Case I Lose It, Or I Am Too Naughty To Be Allowed To Go.

Right I have to go practice being Good, probably means something like not wearing tea cosies on my head in public or something.

Friday, May 14, 2010

All roads lead to pole dance (Or my belated HFY Challenge post for the week)

Well they at least do in my life. People tend to laugh when I talk about pole dancing, but I learned alot from those girls way back yonder.

I found plethora of ideas and some very sound advice on fitness while investigating pole dance in cyber land something which I've tried to follow up in the real world by reading books and magazines devoted to fitness.

Thanks to pole dancers I discovered that there were things known as Kettlebells, it gave me reason to give Pilates some serious thought and it prompted me to go back and relook over belly dance. For which I am hugely grateful for I love Mari Winsor's pilates and belly dance seemed to have undergone a revolution and it now had styles like Tribal Fusion, Dark Fusion and Gothic.

These women did so much more than just pole dance, they were all involved in other fitness activitys, various dance forms, different martial arts, hooping, burlesque and all kinds of fitness classes. This was even where I first really heard about parkour!

Jamilla one of my favourite Australian pole dancers also does aerial tissu (aerial silks) and another Suzy Q does the circle.
When I was little I loved the circus, I loved the girl in the sparkly costume up there on the circle or the trapeeze, or riding round the ring on the back of a pony doing handstands!

Probably had I done gymnastics or ballet when I was growing up I'd probably be less preoccupied with dance, leaping, twisting and twirling now. But I loved dress-up as a child, my nanna had the best box of clothes for dress-ups, somewhere I have a picture of me wearing a cotton embroided blouse and a jaunty purple beret over my normal outfit.
And, well, I still love dress-up now...only now it involves false eyelashes that have long feathery ends and green lipstick. Maybe I'd still be obsessed with twirling and twisting?

In my living room I am a legend, no I mightn't actually be any good at anything I like to jump in and try but since it's just me it dosen't really matter. The latest addition to my repertoire has been Samba - think Rio carnivale style not Dancing with Stars.
It has a completly different feel to it than my prefered syles of belly dance, however I have seen a belly dance fusion with Indian dance influence that has me going hmmmmm...

With all this creative passion, I love dance, cooking and my knitting and they all have to some element of fun to them as well. However I have left music well alone, I am not one of life's muscians by any stretch of the imagination. Although it hasn't stopped me from looking at a class for a women's drumming class for health and harmony and wondering what if????

Tonight I am making Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake, to be eagerly devoured while I watch Notorius C.H.O - I saw this years ago on tv and it was my first introduction to Margaret Cho and where I first fell in love with her.
I also have the latest Family Circle to visually devour crammed full of chocolate and knitting, just what you need on a cold, dark night to inspire you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Make my day punk!

I'm not feeling a particular lot of good will to fellow mankind at the moment. I am sick of people who think they are the centre of the universe. There are a number of them in one of my subjects who I could cheerfully strangle.
In their world I am sure they are witty/smart/insightful, to the rest of the people in the lecture they are just smart arses/time wasters on their own personal tangent. If you have a valid point make it, if not shut up and stop wasting everyone else's time.

Other people who aren't feeling a lot of good will to fellow mankind this week? The headlines splashed all over the papers about a month ago was about a man who had been pimping out a 12-year-old girl. He's since been sentanced to 8 years imprisonment. This was done in conjunction with the girl's mother and the story in the papers at the time was it was so her mother would have money to buy drugs.

There's since been a lot of controvery as a Facebook group has been set up and people have been voicing their opinions on the matter, so much so it's gotten a lot of news coverage in it's own right. Are people actually surprised about this?

This week is the girl's mother's sentancing, she's pleaded guilty and her lawyer is saying that his client was worried about having money to pay off her mortgage and that she has just recently come back from testyfying at a trail interstate as she herself was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. And his client needs to be seperated from the rest of the prison population as they are "hostile" towards his client.

No matter how hard up for money you are or how horrible a life you've had, there is never any excuse for deciding to send your 12-year-old out to work as a prostitute. Never. However my first thought when this story initally broke was if this woman was so desperate and she thought prostitution was the quickest financial solution she should have gone herself.

I live in a state where prostitution is legal, but brothels are illegal. Brothels used to be legal but the laws changed and every so often the Scarlet Alliance come down and there's a lot of talk about changing the laws, there's a bit of news coverage but that's about it.

To further complicate this story the girl was a ward of state even though she was living with her mother at the time so now there's huge uproar and investigations into the state welfare. Who was supposed to be looking out for this girl? Clearly her mother wasn't. Which brings me to another pet peeve, dodgy parents.

Children are not cash cows, slaves or the means to making you a whole person as Jillian Michaels famously said recently about adopting children, by rescuing a child your rescuing a part of yourself. Oh dear Jillian, not the right answer.
Dear Jillian, perhaps you should just go back to bullying the obese while avoiding your own fat phobia issues.

Tracy Anderson, trainer to the stars, you know Gwenyth Paltrow and Madonna. Tracy went on Oprah with Gwyneth and told everyone women shouldn't lift weights heavier than 3 pounds (about 1.5kgs?) because otherwise you'll bulk up. B******t!
And in an article I read just recently about Tracy Anderson she was talking about her workout program and how "you can eat anything" but "you shouldn't eat bread four days before a photo shoot" and you shouldn't eat fast food. What happend to "you can eat anything if you follow my program"????

Where do these people come from? Or more importantly who's certifying them?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

What I did on my weekend...

What have I done with myself this weekend? Not any homework that's for sure, have to do it tomorrow. V. naughty I know but I've got the worst case of the blahs at the moment.

I think it's a combination of the weather change and just general exhaustion, all this thinking takes a toll on a girl. Yesterday I made Fried Rice, I haven't made it in years. And it was so good! I can't say I'm a huge fan of bought fried rice as it often feels a bit greasy, tasty but greasy.
Really tiny of amount of oil went into mine, which is why I think it managed to stay super tasty but still quite light feeling.
Tonight I made Nigella's Chocohotopots, absolutely delicious. They are so going on to the make again list along with the fried rice. I took some pictures of the Choc-pots, I will get them off the camera and post to show you all their gloriousness. If that's even a word!

Watched Doctor Who I'm not really quite convinced with the current incarnation, he dosen't quite have the passion to face off the Daleks. For that reason I'm crediting tonight's episode as a bit of a fail.
Tonight is also Castle night, oh how I love Castle. And they've announced a third season! Yes! Although another thing I am super excited about is I think we're close in episodes to America, shortly after all the tweeting about the red lipstick named Mistress we actually had the episode.

During tonight's Castle I am going to attempt to get some knitting done, Miss Stash started a Dashing for herself, knitted the first one and hated it. Now I never would have picked the pattern or the colour she choose for myself. But I totally fell in love it. All I need to do is knit the second mitt and then they will be all mine! Yeah new mitts!
Going to come in very handy at the moment, I wore my neck warmer to school the other day, yes that chilly and way easier to keep on than loose scarf ends.
Which given that we all had to evacuate the buildings due to a fire alarm was quite handy. However I couldn't help but notice after I had to down my pen mid home work that while I was standing under cover (it was raining) with everyone else while I was standing round doing my best Lone Wolf, all the young people seem to travel in packs. Hmmm, it was before class so I didn't even have any classmates to converse with while I waited. A lecture would be even better loads of class mates to congregate and converse with then.

But I think I see a way into to infiltrating the packs, it needs a cunning plan! Oh and a disguise, and the disguise goes something like this.
  1. A super slouchy beret (Knitter, knit thy self a super slouchy beret!)
  2. A ginormous hand bag, the bigger the better here.
  3. A pair of ballet flats.
Cunningly disguised as one of "Them", I can then infiltrate their packs as they roam the campus ingratiting myself in with them and earning their trust and finding out what if any rebellious or subversive things they are up to. Which from snippets of conversation I overhear is apparently nothing.
And maybe no on the ballet flats. Me in ballet flats? I rock hats and hand bags but I just don't have the personality to carry off ballet flats. I'm more of a chunky boot girl.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Wii are not amused or are Wii?

I just signed up to Spark People, once again the same group on the Ravelry who were so excited about the Wii Fit also are uber excited and talk lots about this Spark People so I joined.

And while trawling through the fitness articles I found one on Wii Fit, it's either a feast or a famine! In their article they also linked to this You Tube vid making fun of the Wii. Snarf!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where do I end?

First off a big thank you to everyone for their advice re the Wii Fit, I am a member of a group on the Ravelry and last year they started a fitness thread and we were all motivating each other on. And people were really excited about their Wii Fit or really excited because they were going to be getting one.
However, I never actually found out what the Wii Fit did, or if it was worth it's purchase price. I even Googled it and had no luck. Having asked, you've all answered and I found a recent informative blog post so I am now more aware.

Secondly I am very excited about this recipe I found on a blog, I was going down a rabbit hole like Alice, following link to link and ended at this recipe for Taco Pasta. Mmmm looks good, I think I could do that and it's just the weather at the moment for a pasta bake.

And on for my weekly Healthy For You challenge, this must be end of week 3 now. I discovered I liked Pilates, I was never sure I would. I am a mad keen yoga buff but I often looked at Pilates and dismissed it thinking it would be too samey. Then I finally got one, a Stott I think. And I hated it with a passion.
Fast forward, I have one of Mari Winsor's, she of the infomercial fame although having said that I haven't seen one for her in ages. Oh how I now like Pilates! Thank you Mari.

Many, many, many years ago in a galaxy far away...around the same time I really got into yoga, I was also intrigued with belly dance. Only back then it was well I may be ignorant and making sweeping statements it was very "Middle Eastern". And in that I mean it all seemed to draw from an Arabic/Egyptian kind of background. This was pre-internet, pre-culture explosion as well.
Now you can surf the net to see what people are doing on the other side of the world, you can get books on everything and everyplace now. There's no lack of knowledge available now, but then the world was a lot bigger and places and other cultures were much farther away and far more mysterious and unknown.

I bought a video on belly dance, it had horrible chinky clinky music that irritated me to no end and the instructor was wearing a unitard, it was red, and when she came to use her veil it was also red. Most of the time I had no idea what she was exactly trying to demonstrate and this was way back in the dark ages, pre-internet, pre-YouTube, pre-Paypal and ease of shopping from overseas even finding this one video locally was about it at the time.
I gave up belly dance as a bit of a bad joke.

Then some how, I forget what I saw where but I was looking at it again, thinking about it. Belly dance now is kind of like ice-cream there's a flavour to suit everybody! While I was browsing the many flavours that I found out about Rachel Brice.

Rachel Brice is a incredibly wonderful thing to know about. I am hugely enamored of her, in part because she's so bendy but I am also fascinated by Tribal Fusion style (or flavour!) of belly dance she practices. I got her first DVD, and was then hugely intimidated because she is so lean and bendy and found my self scurrying for safer ground with the equally wonderful Sharon Kihara (think Angela from Bones meets Abby from NCIS).
Anyway back to Rachel, she's about to release another DVD, which will include details on one of the things she is famous for in her routines - very cool looking back bends!
I realise these are not unique to Rachel or Tribal Fusion they pop up else where across belly dance, but I just find them here to be particularly awe inspiring.

When I took on the HFYC, it was partly as a way to keep my motivation going, make me perhaps slightly more accountable in my effort to clean my life up. There was a certain quality of life I was aspiring to for some time and this seemed an opportunity to keep at it.
But now, now my new goal for HFYC? I want to be bendy like Rachel Brice, I want to do one of those cool looking back bends among other things.

Up until here I liked belly dancing, but here after I saw this is where I fell in love with it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where I find a new soapbox...

HFY End Week One - Well nothing earth shattering to report on this front yet. I have been working my way through the links on the blog roll on HFY and so far it's been 50/50 live and dead links. The check in links on is all live so there's been some successful reading there.

I find myself nodding in agreement as I read these blog posts as I find I can really empathise with what there women are writing about.
There isn't exactly a new story to found here, women with weight loss goals have been around forever. We clearly like weight loss stories; as a society we seem to have a passion for thinness.
As Lord Vetinari said to William de Worde in Terry Pratchett's novel The Truth, people don't want new news they want old news. They want to read about dog biting man, not man biting dog!

Magazines love to write glowing stories about how some celeb got their pre-baby body back and write of the epic tragedy that has caused celebs weight to balloon out and generally give them a good hiding with the proverbial stick. However, when they lose it you'll hear all about in glowing terms whatever exercise and diet regime they have been following to bounce back so quick and how you too can benefit from this.

But Celebrity Fitness is a huge industry, Elle, Cindy Crawford, Rachel Hunter and Jerry Hall have all made workout’s, fast forward and now we have workout’s from Jordan aka Katie Price, The Girls Next Door (those infamous Playboy girls), the Pussycat Dolls (not actually featuring the Pussycat Dolls mind you) and a whole plethora under the Biggest Loser banner. Which has certainly given Jillian Michaels a platform to launch off a number of titles under her own name separate from Biggest Loser, people rave about her 30 Day Shred. Personally I don’t like Jillian Michaels; the lasting impression is that of an over-aerbocised megalomaniac, but that might just be me.

How about the Wii Fitness boom? And all it's associated paraphnalia? I see Biggest Loser is in on the action there as well. How do I feel about the Wii Fitness? I must admit I am both intrigued and suspicious of it. It is after all a game, a computer game and quite honestly I'd put more stock in the Girl's Next Door workout than I would in any computer game.
People rave over it and I have no doubt it does do something for you but so does walking round the block twice every day. No matter how interesting a neighbourhood you live in, that will eventually get old and kind of useless.
Aside from the benefit of trying something new to avoid boredom at some point you need to change up what your doing to stop your body from cruising through on auto-pilot and not getting the maximum benefit from your workout.
I know this is true, because I've been there, done it and seen the results.

In closing today I'm putting the question out to you in cyber land, you all get to be my opinion poll - What's the verdict on the Wii Fit? Am I simply being all dark ages biased about this particular piece of technology? If have one does it live up to all it's hype??? Come on dish it all, this inquiring mind wants to know!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cooking, Eating and Reviewing on the Darkside

Over the last two days I have been slow cooking from Sally Wise's book Slow Cooking. I've made Satay Chicken always delicious and I love satay! And yesterday I made Meatballs in Spicy Barbecue Sauce which is delicious as well but it's more of a glaze than an actual sauce on the meatballs.

Sally Wise has just released a new book Out of the Bottle, preserving and recipes using your preserves. I might have to compare it with her first book A Year in a Bottle (which was the best selling book for the year according to one of my local book stores) to see if there is much repetition, but there are no slow cooking recipes in it.
What recipes there are a fairly good I'm loathe to say basic, but there not fancy and nothing to weird or obscure to find is needed and in most instances even if you haven't preserved anything your self you can buy a commercial product equivalent not quite in the same spirit but preserving very much hinges on what's available. If you want raspberry jam, you best be making it in raspberry season!

I'll test some of the recipes and maybe try and squeeze in some preserving if I can find a suitable recipe for the time of year here and see how we go, then write up a more accurate review here.

Miss Stash and I have been watching on DVD the TV show All American Girl, oh my how it takes me back. Not only does it remind me of when I saw it the first time around but I so remember those 90's fashions!

I'm sure most people will have heard about John Cleese's 3,300 British pounds taxi ride across Europe by now. I have been following with amused interest on Twitter Bill Bailey's trip home from Spain. He's made it into France now, but hasn't yet bought an old car with which he hopes to drive back to England in.
My limited overseas travel while exciting never become adventures like this. I guess with the internet I can live vicariously through other people's adventures.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

They come in 3's!

Lots of things come in threes, but having written my last blog post the three most interesting things to write about all fall into my new workout plan time allotment. There was other stuff but that's mere boring drudgery and makes these 3's look awesome.

1. I discovered the Healthy You Challenge - it was exactly what I was looking for! I wanted something to keep me inspired but without sucking up too much of time and this challenge is perfect for it.

2. At school I saw on a noticeboard a poster for a Zumba Fitness Party, someone is running one locally on Monday nights, at $10 a session. Since I don't sleep well and roam about at night and by night I actually mean very very early hours of morning when it is still dark so it can be classed as night still, sometimes I find myself watching infomercials.
All the fitness machines amuse me to no end, I like how they all fold away for easy storage. My ironing board folds away for easy storage but I suspect comes out for more use than some of these machines. I also love the beauty treatment one where they drive around in a caravan and surprise "ordinary" woman with beauty treatments.
And I have totally gotten off point, I can't vouch for how many of you out there in blog land also peruse infomercials at odd hours but one that seems to get a lot of airing is the Zumba one.

Now the infomercial would have you buy a very, very, very expensive set of DVD's which come with Toning Sticks - which to me seem to be a set of plasticy looking dumbells that apparently rattle when you shake them as your dancing to the Latin beat.
While I'm quite happy to pass on the DVD"s, I am kind of intrigued about the class. It does look like it'd be fun and it is only pay for the session you attend. A thought I shall keep to think about later.

3. The school gym, I heard from them at last year's orientation and they were then touting themselves as the cheapest membership in town. Which is true if your student, it is a very cheap membership and they offer up services comparable to other gyms around town.
I think I'd need a an actual look around before parting with any cash and see how it looks, but they had just refitted it last year so everything was brand new.
Should be quite modernised then. Another thought to think about later.

But first I need to work out my plan, I feel if I actually organise something and write it down I'm probably more likely to do it. Or at least I hope I will be more likely to get off my backside and do it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Things I Need To Do....

- Homework...If I do it at school does it become school work????
- Housework...Why does it never end?
- Fix the second Punky Rose Wristlet, discovered when I went to start thumb I had been knitting the right wristlet again. No problem, managed to work it so I could get thumb in normal, all good. But no, I now need to be working back and forth and it's not in the right place. Needs more thought.
- Possibly temporarily desert PRW and work on second sock I found half finished?
- Find the other 9mm needle, I can work on finishing the scrunch scarf then.
- Take time to work out what, when and where of a new exercise plan. Must be user friendly, not boring, not too hard or worse too easy!

And if I have time left after all that possibly I could turn my mind to creating peace in the Middle East, you know just for R&R....
No, more likely at the end of the week I'll sit down and watch Margaret Cho. Very, very, very, very funny but a bit rude for some people I fear. I do love Margaret's Mommy stories!

To do now? Cup of tea and then into bed with a book, I am not yet sure if it will be a good one or a bad one.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Hijacked Ancient Pagan Festival!

Or as Bill Bailey would call it Happy Implausible Resurrection Day.

Reading the newspaper leading into Easter, there will be a two page spread advertising chocolate eggs and bunnies followed by a two page spread about the Christian spirituality of the occasion.

There were also quick quotes from people they'd stopped on the street and asked about if they would eat fish on Good Friday? If they'd asked me I would have said no, I tend to like making my dinner decisions on the day.
Get up and think what do I fancy for dinner tonight? And work from there. Granted 9 times out of 10 it'll be green Thai curry, but sometimes there are other things I fancy. Usually something else suitably spicy, I have been having the most immense cravings for hot spicy food lately.

To me the not eating of meat on Good Friday belongs to the Christian religion, it's like people of Jewish and Islamic faith who both have the no pork dietary rule among others. I’m not an expert on either of those religions so won’t attempt to profess what others fall under their dietary rules.

It's like vegetarians there falls many choices of what you will and won't have before moving onto fully fledged vegan. Or even more hardcore again I feel are the fruitarians, I'm never sure if I believe this or not. A fruitarian is someone who only eats produce that has fallen from the plant. Or perhaps has been picked but allows the plant to continue on living??? They'll eat an apple because the tree can live on, but they won't eat a carrot because it has ceased to continue on growing.
However a quick Google brings up this site so maybe over time its definition has changed - Fruitarian Site.

None of those options necessarily stem from a religious faith, maybe if you’re Buddhist that would encourage vegetarianism. Religion is a weird animal; if you have it does that make you better than someone who doesn’t?
I don't believe in God with a G, I don't identify myself from any branch of the Christian faith. And I must confess quite ambivalent about anyone who does have faith in any religion. Live and let live! Yet what surprise me is Christians I know who are very anti-Muslim. How dare they be allowed to build mosques! How dare they practice their non-Christian religion in our Christian country!

Last time I checked we were secular and our constitution gave us all the right to freedom of religion, we can believe or not believe as we choose. Something for which I am immensely thankful for, I can believe in the Easter Bunny!

But in closing for some light relief, how about those Republicans, the American political party and their trip to the nightclub with live faux lesbian bondage acts??? I thought they were all morally opposed to lesbians and gays.