I've known for a while that I had an essay due, a rationale and reflection document due, a short story to write (1500 - 2000 words) and a rent inspection due at some point this month. This week, the uncertainty bubble surrounding the date of the inspection collapsed, and we discovered when it was going to happen: this coming Wednesday (it's due in May, Wednesday is the 31st of May, it apparently counts).
For those of you not ensnared in the morass of the Australian rental market, let me describe the joys of a rental inspection to you. Firstly, you get told the inspection is happening at some time on a given day - usually with about a week's notice. The current real estate agency are nice enough people - they narrow it down to "some time between 12pm and 5.30pm", which is positively generous. Before this happens, you need to have the property in a condition which would satisfy either your mother, or your mother-in-law (depending on who has the more rigid housekeeping standards - if neither of these qualify, pick your unfriendly local germophobe). You also need the gardens (if there are any) looking good as well - the local mowing places do a lot of good business out of people who have inspections due! So, once you have the property in pristine condition (including things like cleaning off light switches, wiping down walls and cleaning the oven) you wait for the property manager (if you're renting from a real-estate agency) or the owner (if you're renting directly) to come in and have a look over the place. Now, technically, they're not supposed to be judging you on your housekeeping standards - but we all know this is so much horse elbows, so yeah, they are. If it's a property manager, they come in and often (these days) take photos of the interior of the place, in order to prove you've left the walls where they were when you came in, and to prove the roof hasn't spontaneously fallen in or similar. This, of course, means they're usually taking photos of your goods and chattels as well. Anyway, they come in, do their walk through, make sure you haven't knocked the place down since they were last there, then breeze back out again after making a report for the owner. The whole business takes about fifteen minutes to half an hour tops, but it requires about a week's solid effort in preparation because the place needs to be pristine for them.
This happens every three months, by the way (four a year).
We had the tradesman come around to have a look at the kitchen cupboards on Friday at about 7.30 in the morning. He brought the owner with him, which I would have appreciated knowing about beforehand (while the house wasn't in "complete dog's breakfast" condition, it wasn't quite at "suitable for unknown strangers visiting" levels of cleanliness). Basically, the owner and the tradesman consulted with each other, and I suspect the outcome is going to be a replacement of at least some (if not all) of the kitchen benches. Now, when this will happen (and whether we'll be in the property when it does) is currently all up in the air - our lease expires on the 21st of July, and while I'm going to be talking to the property manager about getting another twelve months in the place nailed down, what may wind up happening is the owner might decide (in the interests of "not disrupting our lives", gods help us) to give us our notice to quit at the end of this current lease, so he can get the tradies in to do things uninterrupted. Now, I don't know whether this is certain, probable or merely in the range of possibilities out there, but it's something I've added to the list of potential worries coming up.
I've mostly finished all the uni assessments - I finished off the editing of my major essay for one of my units this morning (it's been sitting there waiting to be done like an albatross around my neck for the last three or four days, but when I try to do it in the afternoon, my brain basically throws up an "Out of Spoons" error and refuses to parse the wretched thing). I just have the short story to write a first draft of (for workshopping purposes) by Tuesday. Which should be fun, right? But once I've submitted that short story (due the 1st of June) I've finished for the semester, and all I have to do after that is wait for my results.
Of course, this also means I have to go and speak to AtWork regarding Work for the Dole, since at present my university study qualifies as my Work for the Dole activity - and technically they have me on the books as needing to do Work for the Dole until about August or thereabouts. So I need to find out whether I'm going to be breaching my mutual obligation requirements if I don't immediately start doing something else (like picking up litter, sorting rags, washing bottles, or picking oakum) immediately the moment I've handed in this last assignment.
Still going on MFF, have deleted Avengers Academy from the tablet (since it wasn't going anywhere, and was crashing on a regular basis every time I tried to open it) and I'm getting very fond of Final Fantasy Record Keeper, which I've been playing for over a year now, and which hasn't crashed, glitched, or demanded money from me in all that time. Why can't there be more games like that?
 The logic here being that having renovations done around us would be disruptive. Which, yes, it would. But having to move out on short notice, and find another place to live in for the amount we can afford (preferably close to uni - that's the main qualifying feature of this place, by the way - it's close enough to the university that we can basically be there within 15 minutes of leaving the house) would be even more disruptive.
I was told: it happens in more
instances than you could know,
to more people than you
can imagine. That we are not
the first to have in our family
a long-held cache of secrets.
I found out a little
about mine when I was helping
sort my father’s documents
the year after his
retirement. He was old
and ailing by then, no longer
able to take the long
walks he used to enjoy, no
longer able to relish what
former pleasure he used to get
from food and drink— meals
for the most part prepared
by the woman I’d thought
all those years was my aunt,
beloved to all in our extended
household, and famous to the whole
neighborhood and beyond for her skill
in the kitchen: piquant fish and
meat stews, molasses and coconut-
glazed kankanen and cookies,
the fruitcakes studded with nuts
and glazed fruit she made each Christmas
and also sold. As it turns out, the rumors
I’d heard sometimes in childhood
were true: that I was in fact her
biological child, though it was
her older sister who raised me
as her own and that I called mother.
As for my father, he was who he was,
as photographs will show: I have
the unmistakable shape of his brow,
the same way of smiling while apparently
not smiling, the way we pursed our lips
the same. But I don’t know how the two
women truly regarded him, though now
in hindsight finally I can understand
the currents of tension that prickled
up and down my arms and on my nape,
the feelings of being pulled this way and that
in allegiance, all through my childhood
years. I never knew until I found a letter
in faded blue ink, written by a relative,
tucked in a rubber-banded stack of legal
pads, dated the year after I was born—
There, at last I was named her child.
And there I knew that I’d been taken in, and she
as well. Before I went to preschool, she’d been
the one to watch me in the afternoons
as I napped, while she ironed
and folded clothes in a little room
in my parents’ house. She had a suitor:
the man she stole out to see
sometimes with me in tow, the one she
eventually married, and that she must have
also secretly invited into our house
those afternoons she was left there to do
the housework. And while it’s true none of them
can corroborate what I say here,
and this is mostly a story told from my
own point of view, I will never forget
how when she left momentarily— perhaps
to use the bathroom? perhaps to make
some food?— I felt the fingers
of the man she’d marry and that I’d never
in my life be able to call uncle, slide
cold beneath my clothes to dig and probe
between my legs. I was four the first time
this happened; it happened more than once,
until I was six. They married, went away
for a few years to live in a one-room shack
at the edge of the city, where her husband
had found work as janitor in a small
public school. But they came back to live
on the ground floor of our split-
level bungalow because her sister
was heartbroken at the poor conditions
in which they lived. She had three
children from that union, and she
took care of them even as she continued
to serve upstairs, especially in the kitchen:
most meals, and then in later years, the laundry
—as her older sister, the mother known to all
the world and to me, decided she’d go back
to school, be active in civic groups, look
to ways she could have a career outside
of the home; in my opinion, she quite
detested housework. It’s almost like the two
sisters were two shadow sides of mother: one
scrubbing clothes in a basin on the stoop
till her hands grew raw, taking a basket
every day to market, cooking and cleaning,
and doing it all over again day after day;
the other, getting up to put on makeup
and smart clothes, attending meetings
of the Women’s or Soroptimist Clubs
or going around the city passing out
brochures on family planning to women
in community centers, attending
parties and concerts and shows
with my father and with me…
And they had their little dances
of vitriol and forgiveness, days
and nights of cruel silence as well
as falling into each others’ arms.
They spoke of each other to me
in alternating accents of hardness
and of yielding. But I don’t know
to this day what love meant for one
or the other or the three; whether I
might have been viewed as constant,
living reminder of an incident of truth,
or of sin— whether what they did to and for
each other was the wages they imagined
thereafter must be paid for some moment that came
loose from the tapestry and that they’d dared
to touch instead of leaving alone.
After work I called The Kid to find out if she was going to the cottage to open it this weekend. She doesn't know yet, *sigh* I hope she does, the sooner the better.
Went to Boston Market, had dinner there as usual. After dinner the FWiB called, and we talked while I waited for my meeting. From a rather dismal morning the weather cleared up to a really lovely afternoon and evening, blue sky, puffy white clouds, nice breeze, so it was no problem to sit outside waiting for the better part of an hour.
The meeting was good, though smaller than usual for Friday. But no problem.
Came home and that's about it.
Now I have a four day weekend, three for the Memorial Day weekend, and I took Tuesday off, so I have a mini vacation! I shall start it by reading tonight a little late. Almost to the end of Heartbreak Hotel, enjoying it much.
1. The FWiB.
2. My meetings and the people there.
3. Beautiful weather.
5. The Kid.
6. The cottage.
2. Wrote some character descriptions for "Intervention" and emailed them to my WIP Big Bang artist. That was actually a very useful exercise, because I had not thought in detail about the characters' appearances before and now I can try to work some of those visual details into the story text.
Like, about all I had before was that Kath is short and wears her hair in braids, Jahiem is a lot taller than Kath, Adam has blond hair and always wears black, Inez wears a gold cross necklace, Jayavanti is a bit taller than both Kath and Hegev, Nico is tall and often sleep-deprived, Hegev is Tellarite, Zhi-ren has long hair he sometimes puts into a ponytail, Fra Treefell is weather-beaten, and Elakwa looks like Marina Sirtis's more tired and less fashion-conscious cousin. Which is not a lot to be going on. Now I know a lot more. :)
3. Put my peppers and squash out all day on Wednesday, since the forecast predicted a mostly cloudy day rather than full sunlight.
( more items under the cut )
10. Finally got around to cooking the fajita filling for which I chopped and froze the ingredients a couple weeks ago. \o/ That's now in the fridge, cooling down, and I'll stick it in the freezer in the morning.
But it did lead to the idea that C25K is a good plan. Right now I'm not thinking it's as good of an idea, but that's because I'm trying to work running workouts into Karate training days so that might not be the best idea? We'll see how well this goes. I've finished day 2!
One of the benefits of being on a higher floor of the hotel, even if this also means a lot of rather tedious waiting for lifts. I was going to take and post a photo, but I really don't think that my present state of tiredness is a good state in which to get to grips with DW photo posting. Also, on essaying to take a photo for later presentation, realised that the grimy marks on the window would be rather obtrusive.
Quite a full day, which started with waking up rather earlier than I had hoped, but not horribly so.
Socialising has taken place. There was going to be a walk, but then it started to rain (I wouldn;t say there was no chance of a walk that day, but not at that particular time).
Also have been on one panel, which I think suffered a little from ambiguity in framing its terms but nonetheless evoked some interesting discussion.
Observations of note: in the stuffed toy and knickknackery shop just around the corner in State Street, there is a stufft swan, right at the front of the window display: also an inflatable pool version. However, I should eschew props for my reading.
Leading up to Monday’s Game 1, Puck Daddy is previewing every facet of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators — on the ice and off the ice.
Unlike last season, when the Penguins had three firmly-established scoring units producing at high clips after hatching the “HBK Line,” head coach Mike Sullivan has had to manipulate his attacking pieces to survive three rounds.
There are a couple reasons for this, but injuries have certainly been the most significant factor. Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Chris Kunitz and Carl Hagelin have each missed time, and when they have been in lineup, there’s no telling how much they have been affected by the bumps and bruises continuing to add up from last year’s run.
But despite being reduced to more of a two-line attack (in addition to losing facilitator Kris Letang on the back end), the Penguins have actually maintained the same scoring standard they had last spring, producing an NHL-best 3.05 goals per game after averaging fractionally less one year ago.
Pittsburgh’s three superstar forwards – Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel – have together already exceeded their total points from last season’s championship run. Crosby has seven goals and 20 points (he won the Conn Smythe Trophy last spring with 19) with a rotation of wingers, while Malkin and Kessel, whose partnership has been one of the few constants after rarely seeing the ice together last season, have combined for an incredible 43 points.
Hagelin and Nick Bonino have been nowhere near as impactful in secondary roles, but are still players that sustain team speed with their minutes, and can move up the lineup when necessary.
There are a few inverse elements when comparing the designs of the two finalists. Most notably, while the Penguins opt for patchwork on defense to exaggerate their attack, Nashville’s depth of talent exists on the back end.
Still, in these playoffs, only the Penguins have outscored the Predators, who are making their Stanley Cup Final debut with 2.94 goals per game. But where Pittsburgh has three forwards with 63 points, the Predators are a team with just as many defensemen with double-digit point totals than they have healthy forwards at that standard since top center Ryan Johansen went down.
But while the names don’t scream of the stat sheets, there are some majorly talented forwards pacing Peter Laviolette’s uptempo program.
On right wing, the Predators have Filip Forsberg, an emerging superstar, and a former 40-goal man in James Neal as triggermen on the top two lines.
Opposite Forsberg is waterbug Viktor Arvidsson, who tormented opposing defenses in his breakthrough 31-goal campaign with his speed and opportunism. And cut from that same cloth is Pontus Aberg, one of the latest arrivals on the assembly line from Milwaukee, who is proving that he can contribute at the next level in this postseason.
Nashville’s greatest concern up front is through center. With Mike Fisher also sidelined, Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons – pivots with a combined 53 goals in 357 regular-season games – filled out the top two center-ice roles for Nashville in the final two games of the Anaheim series. In support of them were Frederick Gaudreau and Miikka Salomaki, who together are limited to Salomaki’s six career goals.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
To quote Guy Boucher, everyone on the planet knows that Pittsburgh is the more talented team up front. But aside from the injuries, this was by design for David Poile, who has constructed a defense capable of creating mismatches of its own – no matter the opponent.
More NHL coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Fandom: The Good Wife
Pairing: Alicia Florrick/Kalinda Sharma
Prompt: #110|#002 - break
Word count: 100
Summary: Alicia never expected Kalinda to break her heart.
Title: Temporary loss
Fandom: Law & Order: SVU
Pairing: Olivia Benson/Alexandra Cabot
Prompt: #110|#019 - home
Word count: 100
Summary: In a way, Alex felt as if she had been killed.
Title: Morning rituals
Pairing: Alana Bloom/Margot Verger
Prompt: #110|#023 - mirror
Word count: 100
Summary: The mirror was large enough for both of them.
Pairing: Sun Bak/Soo-Jin
Prompt: #110|#031 - heart
Word count: 100
Summary: Soo-Jin worried about Sun.
Title: Pushing away
Fandom: Gilmore Girls
Pairing: Paris Geller/Rory Gilmore
Prompt: #110|#047 - fight
Word count: 100
Summary: She was so used to fight for what she wanted, against everyone that came in her way, that it became her second nature.
Title: No words
Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise
Pairing: Hoshi Sato/T'Pol
Prompt: #110|#055 - dialogue/no dialogue
Word count: 100
Summary: She was at a loss for words.
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Faith Lehane/Buffy Summers
Prompt: #110|#61 - choice
Word count: 100
Summary: All that stood between them was a choice.
Title: Happy Ending
Fandom: Rizzoli & Isles
Pairing: Maura Isles/Jane Rizzoli
Prompt: #110|#074 - happily/unhappily ever after
Word count: 100
Summary: Paris, the city of love.
Title: Not there
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Pairing: Myka Bering/Helena "H.G." Wells
Prompt: #110|#83 - ghost
Word count: 100
Summary: Helena was there, but wasn’t.
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Pairing: Sam Carter/Janet Fraiser
Prompt: #110|#092 - promise
Word count: 100
Summary: They couldn’t promise to stay together against all odds.
Note: sorry for the slight delay, but I didn't want to wait another 10 weeks, as this the final part of the set of 100 fics x 100 pairings that I started at challenge #100.
Could I get a fandom tag for Law & Order: SVU, Gilmore Girls, Star Trek: Enterprise, Warehouse 13?