Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 307: Escape To The Country

Many things waste my time. Or I find many things to waste it. Is 'waste' the right word? Is procrastination a bad thing? Or is it just focus in other areas, in other interests, than you thought you would focus on when you got up this morning? Which of these is a 'waste' of time: Candy Crush Saga; reading other people's blogs; Pinterest; reading books; sleeping; working (duh, stupid question on that one); or; realestate.com? That last one is the procrastination-de-jour currently keeping me away from the writing of blogs that used to fill each and every day of my life. I'm itching at the bit to buy a house.

Irene               List_Addict

And boy, is it stressful. I am feeling ill from the seriousness of it all. Ulcers, headaches, pimples. What happened, you see, is we found the 'perfect house'. We shouldn't have even been looking. We hadn't seen a bank or a broker about how much we could borrow. We had looked on the Internet, and given ourselves an uninformed idea of what would we could get which didn't take into account three things: my margin lending loan being 'debt', our LVR (Loan Value Ratio—that is the size of the loan in relation to the value of the property, or, less financially obscurely, how big your deposit needs to be for the bank to lend you the rest dependant on how much the house will cost. Make sense? We're learning a lot), and mortgage insurance (also dependant on the size of your deposit and crazily expensive). So when we got all excited about this beautiful 1920's house, high in the hills with a bungalow, wooden floorboards, windows to views that were unbelievable, and wanted to make an offer, we suddenly realised that even though we could make the repayments, we couldn't actually borrow enough to buy the house because of the (weeny) size of our deposit. And we learned another hard house-buying lesson: how much it hurts to have to let go of the house you love!

Hurts, and sets up expectations. We've found another one we like now. Like—on the way to love—but not yet love. It's much cheaper. But it seems not cheap enough for what it is and what the others in the area have sold for. Knowing more is not making anything easier. Buying a house is a funny thing. It is unlike anything else you will ever do. What do you want? What is a deal-breaker? What do the other people buying it with you want or think are deal breakers? Is this house the best or will something else come along? If we don't take this one will nothing else come along? And then—the game! They say they want X, but they actually want X amount plus forty thousand; you offer X amount less twenty thousand, they come back saying they want X amount plus fifty thousand, you offer X plus five thousand, they ... You get the drift. The good thing about not loving, just liking, this latest house is we are prepared to sit back and play the game to our advantage. Aren't we, V——? Unless someone makes an offer? Oh gosh! Don't think these pimples are going anywhere soon. Or this poor blog either! Now you know where I am, in case you were wondering. Back to you sporadically, xxx.

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go amazing Mexican shirt that has lost all its dye
Top: Mexico
Skirt: Op-shopped
Gloves: Macy's, New York
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Summer Berries'


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



Getting linky today with:

stillbeingmolly




Linkup Button


Lena B, Actually


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Day 306: The Boy Next Door

A small miracle happened. I finished a pledged-to-a-reading-challenge book. No. Wait. It is even more exciting than that. I finished it during the challenge! I know. Me too. Shocked. But reading is getting much more of a look in this year. To the detriment of blogging. My couch is so appealing. It lets me sit on it and play Candy Crush, read people's blogs and read books on my Scribd account. I'm having trouble getting other things done. But I got 'Romantic Comedy' from Book'd Out's Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014 done, and here it is:

Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door.


Irene               List_Addict

I love to watch Romantic Comedies: I've not really ever read them. Bridget Jones's Diary excepted. This is what I like dislike like about a challenge that shoves a boot into your backside and pushes you out of your comfort genres. Why don't I read Romantic Comedies? I think I like my reading to be more 'thought provoking' and I surmise (probably unfairly) that the genre won't supply that. For 'easy reading' I go to crime or suspense. I do the same when I want to watch something that allows my brain to just absord rather than interpret. Maybe I like the macarbe rather than the delightful. Maybe I am a glass-half-empty kind of girl. Maybe I think Romantic Comedy is just too 'nice'.

The Boy Next Door suckered me in and spat me out at the other end as marginally converted. It did that first by being epistolary. Written entirely through emails. Cleverly. It portrayed character, relationship, tone and action without ever putting two people together on the same page. Being a heavy subscriber to the word-quirky, I was won over immediately. Then it threw in several sub-plots—including suspense. If you are still reading this I am guessing you know what you are getting into and so I don't need to tell you that plot-outlining spoilers follow. Perpetually late Gossip columnist and Winona Ryder afficionado, Mel, is late again to work after she finds her cranky and elderly neighbour assaulted and unconscious in the flat next door. While her neighbour lies in a coma, someone has to look after her pets, and if Mel is to keep her job, she needs to get hold of her neighbour's nephew. The nephew turns out be quite the catch for jaded-in-the-boy-department Mel. But is he all he appears to be? And is there something more to what happened to the neighbour in the first place? There is a serial murderer running around NYC after all. Sure, it was a little twee. A tab predictable. A smidge cheesy. And possessing of a typically Rom-Com ending. But I gleefully picked up my iPad and hit the Scribd app at any possible opportunity. That's not a bad thing. I don't know how quickly I will jump on the Rom-Com reading wagon again, but I am not as cynical as I was.

Okay. it's not so much a review as a conversation with the Internet: I'm not a traditional reviewer. Check out more Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014 reviews here if you after more great reading ideas.

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: Yellow Singlet. I'm getting desperate
Dress: Op-shopped
Singlet: Retail
Jacket: Thrifted, Savers Las Vegas, Nevada
Necklaces: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Can Can'


Photographer de Jour: Moi——


Who Wore It Better?



Linky today with:

eclecticchallenge2014



KimbaLikes


STYLELIXIR Style Sessions


pleated poppy


Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 334: My Mad Face and My Happy Face Are The Same

Caution: if you haven't been seduced by True Blood and plan to watch it (or read it) at a later time, this contains spoilers.

People tell me they have stopped watching True Blood because it got silly. My mum said that, but I feel uncomfortable talking to my mum about this because it is a little lot racey, and I feel weird about my mum watching racey things. A couple of people at work said the same thing. They said that by the time Tru Blood got to its fourth or fifth season, it got ridiculous and unbelievable.

List_Addict               Irene

Okay, let me get this straight. So it wasn't silly when Vampires came out of the coffin and started mainstreaming with normal society; drinking a synthetic blood to enable them to stop eating people. It wasn't silly when vamp blood, better known as 'V' was revealed to be a drug—making you strong and healthy and super high. A mind reading protagonist and a shape-shifting bar owner: not silly. And I am not even going into the silliness that exists in every vampire-related story (Buffy, True Blood, Twilight, etc, etc) that involves an undercurrent of sexual attraction—namely the logic of a heart-beat-less creature being able to raise a heart-beat-related body organ for the purposes of lovin'—if you get my drift. Before we get near to seasons four and five, we come across Wicca, bull-headed gods, werewolves, were jaguars, Faer(ies) and their magical qualities—and the fact Sookie is one. And yet, it 'gets silly' after that?

V—— and I just finished watching the fifth season last night. We're in mourning for the sillinesses we will be without until they release the sixth. I love silliness. It removes you from reality, and there is something lovely about that. The soundtrack is sublime. The characters are artful and either charming, or people you love to hate. Who isn't sad with Russell Edgington's true death? I told you there were spoilers. There is so much to choose from in the way of vampire/zombie/supernatural entertainment. It is like the colour cream (impossible to choose one amongst the plethora of paint samples available, and you won't really know the difference once you have chosen and painted it on your wall). I'm glad we were introduced to True Blood. Are you a fan? Do you think it is silly? What should we watch while we wait for the release of the next season? I'm thinking American Horror Story.

The Outfit
Top: Op-shopped
Tutu: Sock Dreams
(Weirdo) Leggings: Op-shopped
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Magic Pony'


Photographer de Jour: B——


Who Wore It Better?



Sharing the love with:



Lena B, Actually


Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 337: Reading the Swing

I won another book on Goodreads (whoo hoo; the first was Dean Blake's Surface Children). It's the beez-neez to see the email saying you have won and to wait for the parcel to arrive. Excitement. You can do it too. Join up to Goodreads, go into 'giveaways' and enter as many as you want. (I usually have seven entered at any given point—when I remember. It seems a good number. Fair, without being greedy.) I'll also have a Quarterly Box from Book Riot zooming my way soon. The pressure is on to decrease the 'currently reading' pile significantly (wish item no. 46 here) before these two arrive and increase it again. That said, I have finished three books lately, and also see a film, so here is a little cultural run-down from my recent life:

A Necessary End by Peter Robinson. Book three from the current 'crime series' I am pursuing. Written by a Canadian author, this series follows the crime solving endeavours of Inspector Alan Banks in the (not real) Yorkshire town of Eastvale. Like Midsomer county, Eastvale has a proportionately high crime rate for such a small section of England. And even though the body count is unrealistically high, this series is quite enjoyable for the rest of the reality that inhabits it. A detective, slightly, but not overly flawed, going about the business of detecting. As opposed to forensic pathologists, or anthropologists, or geophysicists, or amateur sleuths or vampire hunters or psychic nuclear anatomists or ancient Vatican scholars. Just police work, solving crime, having a beer.

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. A dimension away in detecting from the previous book. This comes over hard-boiled from page one. And silly. Commissioned by a high ranking Government official to find the true Constitution—a book passed from person to person, since it was written, and purportedly possessing supernatural powers that 'will make the world right again'—our private dick protagonist and his newly-met assistant/lover take to the cities of America chasing one depraved temporary owner after another. The novel treads a narrow barrier between comic characters brought to the written word and shock-for-shock's sake. I suppose, for me, he stayed balanced on the tightrope, because although it was silly, I stayed the course. More than stayed the course actually, I turned pages beyond reasonable bedtimes.

List_Addict               Irene

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Dystopia, like zombies, is trendy right now. But this dysopian, post-apocalyptic novel is so incredibly different from all the others in this category. It is quiet and small but heavy, dragging your heart to your stomach. Names, grammar, everything is sparse and hungry. Hope is the grey ash that covers everything, unallowed, by the freezing rain and snow, to rise or float—or even disappear. If social media is truly an indicator, this book divides people between hate and love. I suppose dystopia is more exciting when you can fight against the authority and fall in love with two men and have a costume designer who makes dresses from fire. This dystopia is probably too much like what would happen if we really did destroy our world. This touched my soul.

The Wolf of Wall Street. A swing of the pendulum; the quiet power of The Road juxtaposes emphatically with the flamboyant superficiality of The Wolf of Wall Street. It's been described as indulgent porn, but I quite enjoyed this long movie. (Gold Class cinema was worth the money: a three hour long epic). It typified the eighties psyche. Leo Di Caprio is brilliant and can essentialise the spirit of the eighties in a wiggle. And the scene where he was off his face on vintage prescription medication (is there such a thing?) was hilarious, even though I felt bad laughing at a drug addict. Sure it had orgies, sure it had excessive drug use and obscene greed. And even despite a simple story, I was entertained for the full three hours. It may be excessive, but that is its subject matter so we can expect nothing less.

The Outfit
Top: Op-shopped
Cardigan: Thrifted, Savers Las Vegas, Nevada
Skirt: Gifted, Passed-on
Necklace: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Jam Tart'


Photographer de Jour: Moi——


Who Wore It Better?



Linky today with:





STYLELIXIR Style Sessions


pleated poppy


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 336: Golf Balls

Poor V——. Every time I tell this story, it makes his bits hurt. But it is such a good story, and good stories demand telling. I've told B——. I may have had a small audience for a telling at work. There will possibly be questions (or pained sideways glances) next time you are in my love, sorry about that. And now I am going to make it last in perpetuity by publishing it on the Internet.

List_Addict               Irene

We were driving to the coast. Mr Darby Pickles' microchip is still not transferred to my details, but 'dang it' thought we, we are going to take him for a leash-free run on Fairhaven Beach and see how he goes. It's a good hour and a bit drive and at about forty-five minutes someone, not naming any names, or going with the usual assumption that everything naughty comes from Darby and not Lollii, but someone, in the back seat, starting farting. Farting with a vileness not known outside of Hell. V—— pulled into a side street and I took the little people for a relief walk. V—— got out his golf stick club, tee and balls—any excuse to whack golf balls into paddocks. When I returned with the dogs I found V—— putting away the clubs, and, strangely, completely covered in dust and grassy bits. What happened?

Apparently a decent whack of the ball had ended in a lacklustre shot and given the ball was just on the other side of the fence, my wise loved one decided to climb the fence and retrieve it. He tested the wires. All okay. And then swung one leg over. Obviously the fence was on a pulsing electric current. And obviously the current slyly waited for the leg-either-side, sensitive-area-in-contact moment to pass by V——'s location. Poor fella! Golf balls have a price, but I don't think this is it. Mind you, I think I owe him a bag of balls for the value telling this story has given me. Makes me laugh. (Sorry.)

The Outfit
Dress: ModCloth
Coat: Op-shopped
Belt: Op-shopped
Necklace: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Felt Attack'


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



Doing the link-in love-in today with:



vodkainfusedlemonade.com





I Feel Pretty


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Day 305: Your Closest Exit May Be Behind You

A promise is a promise; even if it is late. Do you watch the safety videos on planes? Or are you like me and thinking 'Yeah, yeah, I already worked out how to fasten the seat belt, I don't have a small child next to me and if that gas mask falls, I will be making my last appeals to any possible deities and expecting the worst; I also don't need to know about a slide coming out of the door-well in the event of a water landing, because beside that freak landing on the Hudson, most of those things don't go well'. We have great scare-tactic television shows to prove it. So most of the time I just pretend I'm watching but usually zone out or listen for grammatical errors. But Air New Zealand has come up with the right formula—they've made them funny, and they've made them often.

Irene               List_Addict

The video on the way home was enjoyable. It had a Middle Earth theme with some quite notable guest stars. The only notable guest star I wasn't sure inspired great confidence was Gollum. He was illustrating the strip lighting to follow in the case of an emergency. It was a little too 'snakes on a plane' for me. I was glad I had elevated legs thanks to the sky couch rather than the thought that Gollum was skulking around under my feet, whispering 'precious'.

But on the way to the States the video featured Betty White and was shot in a Florida-style retirement village. It was hilarious. One man stowed his hand luggage under the seat in front of him on the patio. Betty, he said, this package contains a rare antique. Really, said Betty. Yep, your sense of humour! Boom, boom. The brace position was demonstrated in a golf buggy, and the water landing in the pool. We had two flights and I savoured every minute, each time. If you want people to watch your in-flight videos, then this is the way to guarantee it. I think they even have a version with Bear Grylls. Other airlines, take note!

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go too-much-work-required-to-fix-you-up black poncho thing
Dress: (Recently) Op-shopped
Poncho-thing: Op-shopped
Belt: Thrifted; Savers, Lubbock, Texas
Tights: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Chocolate Banana Smoothie'


Photographer de Jour: B——


Who Wore It Better?



Getting linky today with:

pleated poppy






KimbaLikes