Apr. 7th, 2011 08:54 pm
ysabet_the_red: (Default)
So I haz one of these things. Awesome.
ysabet_the_red: (Default)
Hey, I have an LJ!

Yeah. I kinda ... forgot. But I've remembered now! and I even might post something with real content sometime.

Happy festive season everyone.
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So, this week in review:

- Monday, I was awarded a place in Google's Diversity Delegates program for LCA 2009. As a result, I'm going to hobart for all of next week!
- Since I'm going to be down there anyway, I'm going to be in Melbourne for a couple days on the way back
- This morning, at 3.30am AEST, my first public-facing project went live. No hitches, but a few requests for enhancements ... that's on today's to-do list.

It's been a happening week, that's for sure. A brisk start to 2009 :)

PS - and I have a sinus infection. Oh well.
ysabet_the_red: (Default)
Last year was awesome and suck at the same time.

The suck was falling victim to severe depression and anxiety. The awesome was dealing with that (mostly). The suck was one job ending. The awesome was another job starting.

Many other things happened.

This year, I intend to
- Achieve some body-based goals
- learn to play clarinet, and hopefully do at least 1 exam
- go overseas at least once
- go to the granite belt for a holiday
- get more active in the brisbane rails brigade, and do better at humbug
- get at least one more corset
- go to melbourne twice
- be less anxious and depressed than I was last year
- look into doing a masters or phd part-time, probably in maths or computational science.

Creativity, meetings, and travel. Sounds like a good mix.
ysabet_the_red: (Default)
Considering fitness, and how I don't have any.

I wonder if I could walk into my gym and say ..

By May, I want to be able to do the following:
- splits (forward and side)
- walk 10m on my hands
- do a handstand from a seated start

... whether that would be achievable. Hm.
ysabet_the_red: (coffee)
Home alone. Jerub's in Melbourne.

I hate being alone at home. I really do. Hearing things, startling at noises I can't immediately identify, all that lovely sort of stuff.

It's been interesting having him gone. I'm not as sooky as I thought I would be, but I certainly feel rather lackluster. I spend much more of the day silent, too. I've been sleeping a lot, and my diet has been crap.

It certainly doesn't feel like Christmas.


On the other hand, I have seen quite a few cool people, and gotten some awesome toys. I'm the proud owner of a Yamaha YCL-250 Bflat Clarinet. I've wanted to learn to play the clarinet since I was about 8 or so. I am enjoying figuring out the instrument, although it's occasionally been a touch frustrating. I bought myself a book of boring exercises today, because I was getting rather tired of 'the saints go marching in' and 'mary had a little lamb'. The exercises may not be interesting in and of themselves, but there is at least quite a variety.

Another slightly frustrating thing is that as a new instrument, I do have to break it in a little - so only 20-30min a day for me for a couple weeks. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I'm pretty sure that I don't yet have some of the muscles required. That's alright; these things come in time. And I can practice fingering any time.

This is the first time I've learnt a new instrument since I was 4. It is a bit of an odd feeling, to say the least. I can already read music quite well, and on my first instrument (piano), the music I'm looking at is, to say the least, simplistic. I strongly suspect my previous training in moving my fingers independently and in sequential combinations is helping me with the new instrument. That, or clarinet is a really easy instrument to learn. I have so far managed to not make too much in the way of horrible noises. I managed to play a scale the other day. I'm hoping to start lessons in February, so I don't teach myself too many bad habits. I'm vaguely considering doing examinations - but I suppose that will have to wait until I know a little more about the instrument and the process.

Anyway, it's certainly been something to occupy at least a part of my day.
ysabet_the_red: (laugh)
Notes from the last howeverlong:

- Left old job, have new job. It's going well.
- New job is busy. Working lots. Major deadlines, etc. Awesome people. Halfway alright coffee.
- http://bluehackers.org - website for hackers who've dealt with depression just launched. Awesome.
- google diversity for lca thingy - considering applying, but can i get the time off work? stay tuned.
- aircon at work is broken, but there is beer in the fridge.
- head is better. I feel better than I have since sept last year, if a little tired right now. Maybe next year I'll be off the drugs.
- need new glasses
- might be a uq posterchild. Very cool.
- going to RoR Brigade tonight, like I've been meaning to do for a year or so.
- need a holiday, plz.

ysabet_the_red: (Default)
It's been a while.

In that time, I've finished work at one job, had a holiday, and am about to start work at another job. Other than that, not a great deal has been happening, really.

Looking forward to new work :)

I'll do a better entry at some point, I'm sure.
ysabet_the_red: (coffee)
Friday evening, I'm having a wake for my uncle, Shane Winter, as he always liked a good night out on the town. You're all invited, should you wish to attend. Venue is as yet undecided. There's a facebook event here: http://www.new.facebook.com/event.php?eid=29421525737
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It has been a while.

A quick precis of this month:
- Jerub incremented, and there were awesome visitors
- EKKA!!!! Now we have a full wine shelf :D Considering the next holiday being to the granite belt or gold coast hinterland ...
- I did my tax and my finances - savings > debt by the end of this week, I think. Hooray!
- Jerub got sick
- I got sick (I'm almost better)
- Jerub is sick again
- work has deadlines
- 3 more of my friends are pregnant - it is totally going around.
- I think I volunteered to help run LCA2010, should we win the bid
- I cleaned out the garage, only to have the remote run out of batteries

It's been a full month. Less suck than July. Although I could have lived without the sick. Lost my voice, sinus infection, sore throat, cough, blah. I can't take OTC drugs for anything, just about (allergies, etc), so now I have a controlled drug to take, which is kind of cool (sounds cooler than what it actually is, though).

I've rediscovered lemon and ginger tea with honey. MMmmmmmmmmm.

I've had many awesome and cool friends drop around to keep me company, cheer me up, and adminster hugs. I love you guys :) Thank you so much! You are all full of win.

I need new glasses. These frames are reaching the end of their usable lifespan - a record 4 years.

I am in love with living on the southside again. I have a view, everything's nearby, I can walk places, the busway is awesome, and the traffic noise is soooo much less. I've found two good cafes, but I'm always open to more suggestions :) I am loving having 8 supermarkets in a 10min radius, including an IGA that stocks jolt in multiple flavours. We've found fantastic thai and indian resturants, which have been awesome when we've been sick.

Admittedly, my neighbours are totally fail. Hopefully that's going to be resolved soon, though.

I bought myself a new winter jacket, since my old one died. It's sexy and warm. I need new jeans though.

The Ekka was AWESOME. I should consider competing with chocolate fudge, white bread, and a couple other things, though. I mean, geez, that's the best we can do? That sucks. And hey, I might win something. Also, rides. They are SO MUCH BETTER when I can see what is going on. Yay for contact lenses! Although I did acquire some bruises in fascinating places - no, you can't have a look :P

I'm awake at a truly ungodly hour. Stupid coughing waking me up. Still, I should e going back to sleep shortly, and it has improved greatly from say, thursday.

This week is looking up. Work deadlines, money, seeing Dad and maybe Mum and my brother this week, as well as awesome friends - I can't wait :) BRING IT ON.
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What's happened so far, this month:
- 10 days not being able to eat
- Jerub's work burned down
- got that flu and spent a week on the couch
- had the real estate agent bitch me out for something I was unaware of
- dropped my laptop, which broke it
- I've seen nearly every sunrise, due to a vast change in sleeping patterns, which haven't settled down yet

So 3 weeks of this month have been chockers of suck and lose.

I suppose it can only go up from here. And I have been handling all the various dramas with rather more than my usual grace, which I guess is good.


All I want right now is a boring, uneventful, no-drama week. A holiday, if you like, from this cruft. Where I can work in peace without something crappy happening.

Oh, and I've got work deadlines, which have slipped chronic, because I've been too sick to work most of this month. And that's doing terribly interesting thing to finances.

Right now I want someone warm and comfortable to curl up with for a week or two until I feel better.
ysabet_the_red: (coffee)
So I want to throw another party.

This time, a wine and cheese appreciation party.

Deal is: bring a matched wine and cheese, with accompaniments (eg, fig jam, quince paste, walnuts, pear, whatever and appropriate crackers/bread).

Go to as much or as little effort as you like.

I'll supply wineglasses, and the venue of My House.

How's that idea sound to people?
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Happy Birthday to Me!
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I'm having a birthday party this weekend. I'm turning 27, and two friends of mine are also celebrating their birthdays at this gathering, maybabies that we are. There's a facebook event, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=10209152788 . It's got a fair few people attending, so it might get a touch crowded.

6pm to midnight, food provided, byo alcohol and a fold-up chair. At my New House. Email/etc privately for the address.

Please rsvp here, on facebook, or via email (or mobile if you've got my number), so I've got an idea of numbers.

ysabet_the_red: (Default)
The car hit a rock Sunday morning, 3am. so, in the last little while, we have:
- found the one and only place in brisbane that sells tyres that is open on a sunday and purchased two tyres
- had mother's day lunch 2hrs late with the in-laws
- had the car serviced, wheels aligned and balanced
- gotten two of the three quotes required to get aami to fork out for a new mag

jerub's been wonderful, handling most of the administrivia, while I sat in a corner and dealt with anxiety. Well, tried to anyway.


Aside from that mess, the weekend was great.

I've lost 3kgs in the last two weeks. At this rate, I might be at my goal in a couple of months. That would be nice, so I don't have to buy new clothes (I dislike clothes shopping intensely).

Some musing triggered off by various blog posts around the web, as well as the whole trying-to-lose-weight thing ...

I've been thinking about body acceptance lately. I'm pretty secure in my appearance; I think I'm a fairly attractive young woman. I don't hate any one part of my body. I dislike the size it is, but that's more a question of the magnitude of the shape, rather than the shape itself. I think my feet are pretty. I like my hands, even though they are small enough to make a lot of things a bit harder for me to do. I like my nose, my lips, my eyes, my eyebrows (invisible that they are), my hair, my ass, my calves. I have some quibble about my breasts, because they aren't in a commercially-available size, and they are kinda a bit saggier than I'd like. My thighs annoy me occasionally, because they aren't an ideal shape for stay-up stockings. My tummy jiggles when I run, which is uncomfortable. I wish my arms were stronger, so I could lift things more. I could live without the hormonal acne. But I think my freckles are cute, and I like being lily-white (so long as I don't have to go outdoors). The scars, I do not like. I am learning to live with them, though.

There are relatively few particulars I'd change about my body. I'd like to be smaller, because I find that when I'm lighter, I take up less space, and my body feels more comfortable to be in. I'd like to be stronger, because, well, handsprings are really cool. Also, I am too lazy to buy new clothes, and most of my nice clothes are smaller than I am, currently.

I have my fat and ugly days, usually hormonally influenced, this is true. I will be in tears over how much I differ from my in-the-head ideal. I know it's irrational, and totally doesn't match with reality, but unfortunately, reality doesn't have a lot to do with it when I'm like that. And, judging by some of what I've been analysing about my own behaviour lately, it's more an expression of generalised anxiety than anything else - I'm basically looking for something to get upset about, and it's the most convinient channel for that, sometimes (incidentally? not today, my anxiety has a slightly more valid target to overreact to).

I like my body. I wouldn't go so far as to say as I'm proud of it, but it is, at least, a good place to start.

That seems to me to be an odd attitude to have, particularly for women, in this day and age. I don't wear makeup or jewelery or accessories; I think I look fine just as I am. I don't dress fashionably; I do often aim for a certain level of elegance in my day-to-day wear, but I'm happy to rock jeans and a geeky tshirt as well. I know that when I take some time to choose what I am wearing, and how I style my appearance and expressions, I can turn heads on the street, and have, at various times. And I know that this is true, no matter what the number on the scales is.

So I want to change my body into something a little smaller. I can look sexy, desirable, elegant, beautiful at any weight; but I don't feel comfortable as I am. Comfort wins over laziness, so I'm doing the non-lazy thing of changing my body shape in order to feel comfortable.

Explaining this to people when I say "Sorry, it looks lovely, but I'm on a diet at the moment" is getting old, again. No, I'm not fat. No, I don't think I'm unattractive. But my thighs rub together a bit, I can't buy a bra retail, and my (very fine) ass doesn't fit into my second pair of jeans, or my nice going-out pants, and I don't feel like buying new clothes when I've got perfectly good ones right here. It doesn't seem to be a motivation that people, in general, can understand. I fall back on 'It's for my health; heart disease in the family, you know' far too often. That's *a* reason, sure, but it isn't *the* reason, by a long stretch. It's like the only reasons a woman has to change her figure these days is, basically, appearance. There's a feminist rant in there somewhere, but today has been long, and so is this entry, so I'll think about that another time.
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I've been cooking lately. Last week, for instance, I cooked the following never-before-tried things:
- risotto with pine nuts, chicken and baby spinach
- chicken satay sticks (I cheated and bought the satay sauce)
- plum sorbet
- dark chocolate and orange sorbet
- fresh asaparagas spears sauteed in garlic and butter
- poached eggs in a saucepan
- gnocchi! by hand! from scratch!

I've cooked the following things I've cooked before:
- german grain bread (in the breadmaker, again with the cheating)
- cheese souffle
- thai green curry with coconut rice
- plum lamb stirfry with fresh veges and noodles
- cabonara sauce
- lemon and pistachio biscotti

This week I'm going to try to make raspberry frozen yoghurt, mint sorbet, and maybe lemon sorbet and possibly vanilla bean gelato if I'm feeling up to it. I also want to make a penang curry, something indian, better gnocchi, maybe ravioli, more bread and anzac biccies of course. I've decided for the forseeable future, if I want frozen goodies (eg, icecream) I will make them from scratch, myself. I think this is a good way to cut back my consumption of such things, as well as learning all sorts of wonderful stuff.

I enjoy good food. It makes the day far more interesting when I can enjoy what I eat so much more.
ysabet_the_red: (laugh)
I am a sensualist. This will come as no suprise to those who know me well, I am sure. I love to touch, to taste, to smell, to listen.

Tonight, steve had a work function, so I decided rather than mope, I would celebrate my senses. I lit a candle (ylang ylang and lavender) and planned an indulgent feast for one.

Red wine, a souffle made with red liester cheese, fresh asparagas, mushrooms, with dark chocolate and orange sorbet to follow.

The bechemal sauce is made, the cheese melted into it. I'm waiting for it to cool a little more before I add the eggs, drinking a glass of red wine and looking at the candle. My favourites list has been playing while I cook, and I've been dancing as I created in the kitchen.

I made the sorbet yesterday; I can confirm that it is a near-perfect combination of orange and good dark chocolate; soft in the mouth, melting in an explosion of flavour. Mmmm.

I am happy to go at my own pace this evening. I enjoy cooking for my friends, oh yes; I also enjoy cooking just for myself. I can dance, I can sing, I can taste, I can just slow down and savour the moment.

It's been a very long time since I've had a night like this - and it feels good.
ysabet_the_red: (Default)
I made gnocchi from scratch on Wednesday, with a simple cabonara sauce. I think they could do with some work; maybe a touch of garlic, or cheese, or herbs in the gnocchi - but I can always make them again.

I've been thinking a lot about food, and about different dietary restrictions, and how to make food awesome. Steve's lactose intolerant, and needs lots of carbs. I need a minimum of carbs (or at least, a controlled amount). Mum (who I'd like to have over for food more often) is gluten intolerant, and Dad hates 'fancy' food. My brother can be fairly adventurous, but needs to be talked into it, and occasionally needs to be dairy-free, depending on his health. Another friend is allergic to sesame.

Cooking for the range of tastes and requirements can be a challenge. One-pot meals, like the risotto I made the other night, are sometimes chancy affairs, since each individual serve can't really be tweaked all that much.

It's all good fun.

This weekend, I want to make bread. Not sure what, yet - we'll see.


Apr. 16th, 2008 11:21 am
ysabet_the_red: (laugh)
I've been under a lot of stress lately. A lot of stress. Since early March. One of my symptoms of stress is that I can't spare the energy to be creative. My work suffers, and I can't bear the thought of cooking something that doesn't come from a jar or a box.

The cloud seems to be lifting a bit, though. Yesterday I got all creative in the kitchen, and made my first ever sans-recipe risotto (pine nuts, baby spinach, chicken with asparagas spears seared in butter and garlic to serve). I also taught myself how to poach eggs with a saucepan and a slotted spoon. I feel like making some toasted-flour biscuits featured in the chocolate and zucchini blog; I've been seriously thinking about how to make gluten-free gnocchi and inviting mum over for a three-course, gourmet gluten-free feast (egg-drop soup to start; walnut and blue cheese gnocchi; pistachio and lemon sorbet to finish. Or something like that).

I find myself contemplating how to do a thai-flavoured risotto; shredded kaffir lime, coriander, seeded red chilli, fresh green beans and fresh grated coconut are springing to mind. Or Indian; pumpkin cooked in cumin and cinnamon, mashed and added to the rice with a generous sprinkle of paprika, garam masala, fresh tomatoes, and suitably-spiced meatballs.

I'm thinking about the lovely granite benchtops, and thinking about making berry tarts and croissants by hand. I'm thinking about growing fresh herbs, mint and thyme and sage and rosemary and basil and coriander. About duck pancakes. About savoury waffles for breakfast on a Sunday. About cloves and oranges and crepes for dessert. About ginger and nutmeg and biscuits.

I am, for the first time in ages, excited about the possibilities of my spice rack and pantry. I can't wait to get home and riff off on a theme from a cookbook; about mixing and matching flavours on an impulse. I want to feel a loaf take shape in my hands; I want to fill my house with gorgeous smells. I want to learn new things, new flavours, new techniques.

It's been so long since I've felt this way. And it's a good way to feel :)
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