Monday, July 7, 2014

Because I do (Vol. II)

Here, have a collection of incredibly disparate, random things I'm enjoying and appreciating this week. I'm calling it my list of...

Things I do like (today): --

  • Sunshine -- I feel a little as if I've been in hibernation, but today the sun is out in full glorious force and I am determined to take myself down to the bay and soak in its warming loveliness.
  • Camp Nanowrimo -- July is Camp NaNoWriMo: all the fun of National Novel Writing Month with less word pressure and more marshmallows! For the record, virtual camping is the only kind of camping I really like, and this sort in particular is the best. This is my first year participating in Nano Camp, and I'm mostly here because my infinitely more go-getting friend Laura convinced me to take part. During NaNoWriMo in November, the rules are simple but strict: write a 50,000 word novel (or 50,000 words of a novel). Nano Camp is a lot more flexible; you get to make your own goals. My main intent was to pull out the novel I wrote during Nano a couple of years back and actually finish it. I had reached 50,000 words but not "The End," and there were some plot gaps and sequencing issues I needed to go back and fill in. All breeze and bluster, I cheerfully filled in my Nano Camp goal of 20,000 words, which is what I figure this novel needs to reach completed first draft status. As it happens, we're seven days into Camp Nano and I've written all of 600 words. However, I have been spending time revisiting what I've written, rereading it in full (which I hadn't done since I'd finished), and making notes as I go. The exciting thing is that I still love my characters. Well, there's one I'd like to smack across the face, but he deserves it. And there's another that deserves so much more than what I've given him in this story. There are sentences that I cringe about, but that's par for the course. The cool thing is the story is still there and I don't completely hate it. I'm relishing this chance to spend a little more time making it somewhere closer to better.
  • Force 10 International -- I randomly caught a news article last week talking about this Brisbane-based company. What they do is create flat-pack housing that's designed to be built quickly by non-professional labourers and is especially created to withstand nature's worst, in the form of cyclones, tornadoes, flooding, and termites. There is so much good that can be done with a resource like this. I'm super-impressed. Also, any company whose name calls to mind an Alistair MacLean novel has to be at least half-cool.
  • Rhett & Link chat to John Green -- this week on Ear Biscuits, Rhett and Link chatted to author, vlogger, and social change inspirer (let's let that be a word, okay?) John Green. People love to rag on this guy, possibly because he's successful and people respect him (always motivation for some internet sledging, I find), but after this interview, I found myself liking and respecting him even more. John Green is neither the antichrist nor the second coming, but he is someone who consistently exhibits a lot of wisdom and grace in his thoughts and actions about life, creativity, and making the world better.
  • Hamish & Andy's South America Gap Year -- my favourite real-life broship is back on tv for another season of Gap Year and I'm happy. I'm in the middle of writing a post entirely about Hamish and Andy, and if I can overcome my ultimate fangirl embarrassment, I'll have it up at some point. In the meantime, if you're unfamiliar with Hamish and Andy, just imagine Frodo and Sam with none of the hobbitness or the angst, all of the silliness, and a generous helping of dorky Australian. Then imagine them exploring/doing/eating all the craziest things that South America has to offer. Yes, it is a recipe for joy (and occasional squinty eyes when one of them is eating something gross and you can't look away).
  • Beauty basics -- it's winter, which means most of my beauty regime is about not drying out so much that I resemble an old leather boot. At the moment I'm appreciating the Dirty Works hand cream, the Olay Regenerist revitalising hydration cream (a sample size that came in this month's BellaBox and which has totally won me over), and the ever-great Burt's Bees lip balm with acai berry. With the lack of heat and humidity, I'm also loving not having to wash my hair every day, and the VO5 Instant Oomph Powder is my new favourite thing. I actually was inspired to try volumising powder after watching a men's hairstyle tutorial (don't even judge me), and this stuff is so good. Breathes new life into second-day hair, which, for someone with thin hair like me, is super handy.
On that very girly note (I hope I haven't scared away the 18.7 men who read this blog): what are you digging this week? If we had an hour to meet for coffee, what current favourite things would you tell me about?


  • Asea -- "It all comes down to the choices I make. I choose not to have a car or house because I want to be in grad school, and that means a very limited income right now. I choose to embrace the freedom of being single and child-free and use my time to travel. I choose to study a thing I love and do a job I like, rather than go for the super stressful career that eats my soul. Being a grown-up really means making all the choices, and living with their consequences. And, honestly, I really like most of the choices I have made, and I definitely like where they have taken me." This. This is so great.
  • Meaghan -- YAY! I'm glad someone got my incredibly vague reference! And you're so right: you cannot unhear her say it once you know her voice! 


  1. I love Hamish and Andy! Only we aren't watching this season... :( They are so funny! XDDD

    I love coffee shop moments, virtual or otherwise... ;)...

    Lately, I have been really enjoying watching my little sisters, Ally and Chelsea, grow up and learn to hold their own at the other end of eight siblings. They are both of them such funny, dramatic, Frozen-freaks. The things they come out with are hilarious. I am particularly fascinated with watching Chelsea as she is the first of all of us who expresses herself through dance. She is so cute!

    As anyone who knows me even just a little would know, I am a massive fan of Studio C atm, and probably will be forever... :) If you haven't seen them, you need to look them up on YouTube... sketches like "Graduation Musical Number" "Teddy's Story Joint" "Radio Mystery Hour" "Prop Switch" "Reference Check" and "Dinner Party" are among their best works, although it's hard to narrow it down even to that. :D

    We are preparing for a rather busy couple of months at the moment... between now and the middle of September, we have three parties to plan and put on (Luke's 10th, Beth's 16th and Jessica's 18th) a 70th to attend, a wedding to attend and participate in (It's my uncle's wedding! :D) and a three weeks holiday. Whew! It makes me cringe to think about it (I don't cope well with lots to do in a short amount of time - I don't stress, I just kind of hide and shut down... ;) )

    That's my life at the moment, other than my diploma studies and general life stuff that has to be done but isn't really worth bringing up because everyone has to do housework and so forth. :D

  2. I am very much enjoying Wonder (thanks again!). I see The Winter Book in your photos, are you reading that?

    I just got home from 2 weeks of visiting friends and family, which was delightful, but I am looking forward to being back in a regular schedule again and sleeping my own bed for a while! I'd probably tell you lots of stories from my visits, if we were to get coffee. :-)

    Lately I have been pondering whether assuming that people are essentially competitive is helpful to us all the time. (I'm running into this a lot in my studies of nationalism, but it shows up in intergroup communication and intercultural communication, linguistics, etc., too.) I think it might be helpful to sometimes consider people as able to be cooperative and productive! That's the ideal we are striving for, right? And if we keep telling everyone that "it's our nature to be competitive; don't expect others to work with you," mostly what's going to happen is that people are going to try to out-compete others before they get a chance to make the first move. And the cycle will continue. (I'd definitely talk about this if we had coffee!)


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