Saturday, September 27, 2008

First jewellery sale!

Michael took a couple of pieces (heart pendant and earrings) to work with him on Friday to show some of his colleagues. And he sold them!

And the lady wants a matching bracelet!

And another lady has commissioned a pendant "to wear on holiday". I'm going to be sneaky and make matching earrings and bracelet as well, because I'm pretty sure she'll buy them too. Because I'm awesome. :)

I'm off out tonight, Charlotte's 21st birthday party. Should be fun...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A house guest

So I'm in the dining room making polyclay beads a little while ago (I know, it's really late, but my sleep is fucked up still), when I spot something out of the corner of my eye, in the kitchen. Not that my eye was in the kitchen, the thing I saw was.

Anyway, in front of the sink cupboard was a mouse. A pretty big, healthy-looking one. It had a look around. It sniffed the air. Then it disappeared, presumably under the sink cupboard.

So I got up and grabbed our multi-mouse no-kill trap from upstairs, baited it with peanut butter (that got Summer's attention), and set it on the floor by the sink. And went back to the beads.

A little while later the mouse (well could have been a different one I guess, it was a mouse anyway) strolled on past my chair, along the wall. Behind the rabbit's cage and round the other side back towards me. I tried not to move, because despite not really wanting mice in my house, I'm interested in how they behave. I often spend time watching them eat the food I put out for the birds. Cute little things, but destructive and rather unhygienic. Rather like children.

Anyway. This mouse either didn't clock me, or just didn't care that I was there - it practically ran over my foot at one point. Then it headed out into the hallway and I lost it.

Presumbably it went into the understairs cupboard.

Which is an absolute tip.

It's full of the vacuum cleaner, tools that are so essential that they don't live in the garage (like the big torch), dry dog food, dry cat food (for Basil the hedgehog), rabbit food and wild bird food. All in open bags. The little mouse must be having a field day in there!

Annoyingly this means I now have to clear out that cupboard and buy storage containers for the food and probably throw a lot of it away because it will be contaminated with mouse doings. Because mice are continuously urinating.

There must be a market for incontinance pads for mice.

Typical, when I have stuff I really need to do tomorrow, I've got to deal with the black hole under the stairs which may now be home to countless mice and spiders (not that I mind either, but still...) and possibly a small third-world country. When i should be making cute little cakes with glitter to take to the Activities Fair on Thursday, so we can bribe freshers into joining SingSoc.

That and doing something which I can't tell you about til Sunday.

Oh and while I'm here, are there any birders who want to play Guess Which Completely Unexpected Bird Turned Up In My Garden Last Week Which Isn't A Garden Bird And I Think Must Have Been Having A Rest During The Start Of Its Migration - before I post pictures of it?

Hell, non-birders can play too if the want!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

You may have noticed...

... stars! At the bottom of my posts! So you can give me feedback!

I noticed that Blogger have just made this feature available and I liked the look of it. However I've found a better one... with customisable colour and size and a widget which tells you which are your top posts (since no-one's rated me as I write this, it isn't showing up, but eventually you'll see it in my right sidebar as "Stuff you like").

Have a play! But remember that once you've rated a post, you can't change your mind or rate it again, unlike the official Blogger one.

What's annoying me today? Why, it's Blogger!

I decided to create a blog to go with my Etsy shop, a sort of "this is how I made this" kind of deal. So I thought it would be a good idea to keep it separate from this blog, because it's probably not good for business for customers to be able to get from shop blog to here (via my profile), where I rant and swear and express opinions and generally behave unprofessionally.

I sign up for a new Blogger account for the new blog. I create a new blog, Matches the url of the Etsy shop, yeah? Easy to remember.

All is good. But as soon as I create the blog, I realise that I'm signed in with my old account. No problem, I think. I'll just delete it, and re-create it with my new account.

But apparently things just don't work like that. Once a blog is deleted, that url becomes unavailable for other accounts, so I can't claim the address I wanted.

At this point I check out the help files, which say I should be able to recreate the blog using the original account and go through a process (which I won't bore you with) to transfer ownership to my new account - but it doesn't work. remains unavailable, whichever account I try it with.

The help forum is littered with others who have had the same sort of problem, mostly who've deleted blogs accidentally and want them back. Some seem to attract the attention of an admin-y Blogger employee type who had flicks a switch somewhere and gives them their blog back. Others get ignored. I don't know why.

And Blogger's help system is impressively frustrating and circular. You end up trying the whole process again, ticking different boxes in the hope that eventually you'll get to a form you can fill in and send off, rather than being cycled back to the forum or help files. Guess they make it difficult deliberately to stop lazy/stupid people from asking Blogger to fix their tiny little problems that they could easily deal with themselves, but it does make it very annoying for those of us who know what needs to be done but can't do it ourselves and just need to basically tell someone what the problem is.

I've now filled in three different forms, and emailed twice over the last couple of weeks. Absolutely no response. Not even a standard "We're busy and can't deal with you now, but we have your email and we'll get onto it as soon as we can" response. I have no idea if they've even got my messages.

It's just not good enough. Surely they must have enough employees for someone to compose a form email which gets sent out to everyone who mails

I want to print business cards, and promote my shop. But I can't do that until I know what url I'll be using for the blog, and I won't know that until Blogger contact me.

I'm actually considering creating it on Wordpress or similar instead - I just don't want to do that because I'm used to Blogger and I'm lazy and I know where all the buttons are here. It's comfortable. And I'm too cheap to get a custom domain.

Come on Blogger, sort it out! I have potential customers I need to hassle!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Know what else is annoying?

Because being annoyed is my theme at the moment...


Seems no-one can open their mouth recently (especially on TV) without spouting a whole load of tired old phrases that have been so over-used they've lost all meaning. They might as well have said nothing at all.

Just a few examples: I'm over the moon, it's a dream come true, I'm doing this [i.e. trying to win a competition/sporting event] for my kids/mother who brought us 12 kids up single-handedly, it means the world to me, we'll just see what happens, at the end of the day, I gave it my best, if X happened it would just change my life.

Can't people be just a little bit imaginative??

Michael's often said that if you use a word/phrase (he's referring to swearing in particular, but the point still stands) all the time it loses power. Like if everyone said "fuck" in every sentence it would stop being offensive. I don't 100% agree with him, but in general he's right. New language please.

And while I'm on the subject of 100%...

Evidently when people trot out their clichéd phrases, they also lose the ability to understand basic maths.

I'm so sick of hearing "I'm going to give it 110%!"

Er, excuse me? You mean 110% of your effort/time/strength? I think you're misunderstanding a basic fact here.

100% is EVERYTHING. All of the money in your purse is 100%. Every book in your house would be 100%. And every last drop of effort you possess is, guess what, 100%!

Perhaps people get confused when they hear that, as a made-up example, the price of oil has risen 200%. This just means that the original price has tripled - and all of the new price is still 100%. Because percentages are relative, not absolute.

All this is quite apart from the fact that if you actually managed to put 100% of your total energy into some insignificant sporting event, you'd drop dead - because you'd have used up all your body's reserves (including that stored as muscle and organs). There would be no oxygen or glucose available for your brain (if the brain had mysteriously managed to not be converted into energy, that is).

You often see people on shows like Gladiators (okay, I know, if I watch Gladiators I deserve what I get - but I kinda like it) who are understandably very tired after they've finished whatever the last big challenge is. And they say things like, "Well, I did my best, I couldn't have done any more, I gave everything", but if their baby son was trapped in a burning building and they were the only one that could save them, they'd somehow find a bit more speed, be able to run a little further.

Apparently I'm also a maths Nazi.

Tune in next time, when I rant about how people completely fail to understand probability!

Or maybe I'll post pics of my garden and a recipe or two. Vote now!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't buy Spore

Because it's eaten my life in the 3 days I've had it.

Dangerous game. It's quarter to seven in the morning, and I haven't gone to bed yet, because "I'll just finish this bit..." then "Wow, how cool! I'll just have a look at this other bit..."

Damn my lack of willpower.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Not quite so crappy

Okay, I'm better than I was. Not so tired, and I've actually been able to make beads rather than just moping around. I'm considering a "how I made these" sort of blog. Wonder if anyone would be interested?

So anyway. I'm currently being wound up by bad English/grammar/punctuation. Not that mine's 100% perfect, but I'm pretty good generally*. It's not that difficult, surely.

Adverbs. When a descriptive word is applied to an action word (verb), almost all of the time it ends in LY. Like a person is graceful, and moves gracefully. Cold wind, wind blows coldly. Can someone please explain this simple rule to Tempest from the new Gladiators, who said on at least 4 occasions the other night, "She did amazing." By the second time I was actually talking to the television.

"LY! AmazingLY! It's an adverb, you silly woman!" or words to that effect.

Misuse of the reflexive. I'm so so sick of hearing, "I spoke to yourself last week", by people who are obviously trying to be polite and don't realise that the word you is perfectly polite, and in fact correct. Similarly, "Who's in charge of this department?" "That would be myself." You use the reflexive when someone's doing something to themselves, i.e. they are both subject and object of the sentence. Such as "I'm proud of myself" or "She accidentally hit herself with a hammer".

And for this next one I blame Facebook. Over the last few months a lot of people I used to know at school have friended* me. Fine. And like a foolish person who doesn't check out Facebook more than a couple of times a week, I subscribe to the feed of my friends' status updates and read it in Bloglines along with all the blogs I like, so I don't miss something important.

Which means I'm getting stuff like this:

"*Insert name here* is guin 2 sheff 2mrw 2 spend sum money"

Not even going to comment. But this kind of thing didn't happen when Facebook was just students, let me tell you. I was going to trawl around and fine a few others for you to enjoy/laugh at/cry over/fail to read at all, but in the end it was just too annoying.

And old school friends (in general)... aren't they DULL?

* I know my writing style isn't textbook, but that's for effect. Not sure what effect, admittedly. Like when I start a sentence with a conjunction such as but or and - I know it isn't correct but I like to do it anyway. I'm a rebel like that.

And I also miss out punctuation because i'm lazy. Like the comma that should come before a set of quotation marks in some sentences. He said, "I is crap at grammar."

*As far as I'm concerned, friend is now also a verb...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Can I have my brain back please Mister?

You know, I haven't been feeling right for weeks now. Months, if I'm honest.

Actually scratch that. For the past maybe 12 years I haven't been completely well - sure there have been periods which can last months where I'm pretty much functional, but there have also been times where I've been in a fair bit of physical pain, exhausted, miserable, clinically depressed, unable to do anything, and (for a rather, er, interesting month or so) actually wanting to die (which I don't refer to as "suicidal", but only because I didn't have the energy to even consider how I'd go about it).

But mostly I'm not at either extreme.

I've definitely posted about this sort of thing before. I'm pretty much "out of it". I don't much care, everything's too much effort. I'm tired. I mean, really tired. I can't think about more than maybe two easy things at once - so knowing that I have to mail something today and that I haven't watered the greenhouse yet takes all my available brainpower and I can't do anything else. Anything that involves multiple steps or processes just isn't possible right now.

As an example, Michael's just come in as I was writing this. He asked how I was. It took me a good 15 seconds to work out an appropriate way to respond (and it was only "Mmmmfffh" in the end).

Feels like I'm running on fumes, when I never had a very big petrol tank to begin with. Guess my fuel economy's gone to shit. And now I have to stop with the car metaphor because I just don't have the mental capacity to follow through with it.

I really hate being stupid, because I'm not. I have an IQ of 138* and I've pretty much aced every exam I've bothered to work for (and some I haven't). I'm sick of being this pathetic shadow of myself that just sits around all day not being able to do anything fun or useful, who can't remember to shower or clean her teeth, who doesn't answer the phone in case she has to make conversation with someone or they ask her to do something.

You know what? I'm fucking sick of it.

And even worse, I have no idea what to do about it.**

There has to be some way out of this. Because if there isn't, I'm really fucked. I can't live like this.

* I don't believe that IQ is an really accurate measure of actual intelligence, but a near-genius IQ has to indicate that my brain's pretty good, if only at doing IQ test type puzzles.

** I'm even considering the doctor again, if you can believe it. Even though they are pretty much no help at all, and a doc visit invariably leaves me feeling frustrated and miserable because I need them to help me and they, well, can't. Maybe it's depression talking, but I can't see how exercising and losing weight are sensible things to suggest to me right now. Why not ask me to fly to the Moon? With a 10-ton weight strapped to my ankles? Gimme some drugs and make me better. That's your job.