irregular muzings

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Today is the final day of the Lifeline Bookfest, so if you're in Brisbane and you like books, better scurry along to the Convention Centre and check it out! I popped by the 'fest yesterday and to my great delight discovered, besides the books and other paraphernalia, an impressive number of pre-loved soft toys up for grabs! Ahhh! Yes, that's right, I went to the Bookfest and bought a big... stuffed... DUCK! :-) How could I resist such a beautiful creature, abandoned by his previous owner? I simply had to give him a new home. Here he is pictured with his new buddy, li'l Quacker.

duckies - side view duckies - front view

Too cute! Anyway, I did also pick up just a couple of books. Alas, these sort of events always seem to be light-on in the fantasy department. I don't know why that is, although I suspect it may be because fantasy enthusiasts tend to hoard their books (I know I do) and don't part with 'em for anything! So I purchased a classic, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" (also includes "The Chimes"), and a novel that caught my eye, "Basilica" by William D. Montalbano. The blurb reads:

In the black of a Roman night, a lone priest is pushed to his death from the dome gallery of St Peter's basilica. It's a murder that challenges the spiritual and physical resources of two men shaped and scarred by a stormy past. One of them is the charismatic new Pope himself, an unconventional Latin-American with many hidden enemies. The other, Brother Paul, is a former Miami homicide cop brought to the Vatican as unofficial papal investigator. Now, as threats against each of them multiply, ghosts from their common past stalk the holy city's ancient streets and circle ever closer...

Sounds intriguing, no? Meanwhile, two books for a buck and an eight dollar duck - can't complain about that!


Sunday, January 23, 2005

cakes and the queensland heat

Yesterday was my Mother's birthday, so in honour of the occasion I baked a chocolate cake. Much of it was devoured for afternoon tea, but we left the remaining quarter in a container on the kitchen bench. This morning when I rose, groggy and sleep-deprived due to an unpleasant hot and humid Queensland summer night, Mum greeted me with a solemn face and told me there had been a "cake accident" overnight. Despite taking extra care to ensure the icing was nice 'n solid so it wouldn't liquify, well, see for yourself what happened!

cake accident

Evidently cake icing doesn't cope too well with Queensland heat and humidity! Either that or the darn stuff came ALIVE and is trying to escape being eaten!


Thursday, January 13, 2005

let's go bowling now!

Yesterday I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the company of delightful former bloggers Pickwick and Verbs, engaging in a few rounds of ten-pin bowling. As I remain the only active blogger of the group, it falls to me to report on the afternoon! Naturally, this means I get to make it all about ME. Yes indeed.

Now, I am a former bowler of some renown *cough*, a fact that I had partially shared with Verbs but kept from Pickwick.. until yesterday. That's right, I was once a league bowler. For two (non-consecutive) years I was a member of two different leagues, the first being a rather casual (yet still competitive) under-25s league and the second being a far more serious group, in which the team I was in finished the season in Second place. I suppose I should confess that if not for me, the team would have finished... First. Yup, I was the weakest link.

*sigh* League bowling experience should count for something, but I'm really a pretty ordinary bowler. I had hoped the mere title of "former league bowler" would strike (ha!) fear into the hearts of my opponents, but my first few bowls yesterday put an end to that notion. In my defence, three years have passed since I last bowled and I was therefore well and truly out of condition (a fact which numerous aching muscles are reminding me of this morning!), but still, my opening bowls (all sprayed to the right) of gutter ball - 1 pin - gutter ball - gutter ball - gutter ball were nothing short of humiliating!

Quite amazing then that I managed to score 104 in that first game. I also improved by 1 pin in the second game so the afternoon wasn't a complete embarrassment. Add to that the fact that I didn't lose either game and it was quite a good showing really.

Of course, nor did I win either game! To be honest, I was just a sideshow to the ridiculously competitive, ongoing Verbs/Pickwick Bowling Challenge. They have previously played a five game marathon and after yesterday's two games I believe Pickwick remains in front by one game. Honours were shared yesterday, with Pickwick taking out the first game and Verbs winning the second. Verbs was keen for a third game yesterday (determined to even the score!) but my arm threatened to detach itself from my body and scamper away if I entertained such a notion, and Pickwick was sympathetic. (In truth, I know she just wanted to hold onto her teensy lead!)

We obtained a print-out of the scorecard which I have dutifully scanned and uploaded.

Verbs/Kez/Piwi Bowling Scorecard

Just to confirm the difficult to read final scores:
Game 1
Verbs: 96
Kez: 104
Piwi: 132*
Game 2
Verbs: 122
Kez: 105
Piwi: 92
* a personal best for Pickwick.

The Verbs/Pickwick Bowling Challenge will resume next time Pickwick is in Brisbane, and I shall go along to make sure things don't get out of hand! (And also because their lack of blogs means they need a third party to attend and compose an eye-witness report.)

PS. Cheers for a lovely afternoon folks. :-)

feeling: hot tub [ like my muscles need a soothing soak in a hot tub ]
groovin' to: "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer" - Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum & Patrick Wilson
last movie viewing: "Vampire Hunter D" [DVD]
bookworm currently enjoying: "The House of Gaian" - Anne Bishop

Saturday, January 08, 2005

a duck and a pirate ship

(and a super poseable wall-crawling Gollum, but more about him later.)

I know it sounds like the title of a warped children's story, but these are actually a few of the very groovy Christmas '04 gifts I received. Arr, that be right, me hearties, me very own pirate ship! (courtesy of me brother, me sister-in-law, and me nephews - worthy land lubbers, the lot of 'em) Here be a snapshot or two of me sea-farin' vessel - the Saucy Skull 'n Sword - set sail on the skirts of the deep blue sea. Arrr!

Saucy Skull 'n Sword 1 Saucy Skull 'n Sword 2

For the life of me I can't figure out why that lobster is hitching a ride on the front of the ship. My eldest nephew tried to convince me that it was not a lobster but actually a scorpion. As I told him though, scorpions can't swim! Later it did occur to me that there was my very plausible explanation as to why the mysterious red critter would be hitching a ride. Still, I remain unsure. Perhaps an unofficial poll is in order - just reply to this post with either "lobster" or "scorpion" and we'll get the matter sorted.

Scurvy Sea Dog

Now, here be a close-up snapshot of me pirate self, scurvy sea dog that I am! Arr! (Not quite as fetching as my earlier pirate portrait, but suitably scary nonetheless, particularly when you notice that this here pirate is far too cool for a squawking parrot and has a vampire bat instead! So appropriate for my pirate self. Ha!)

Next we have this cute little quacker (courtesy of my dear friend Amanda).
Out for a Duck! This gift encompasses three of my great loves: (1) cricket, (2) soft toys, and (3) ducks! Amanda said she simply couldn't go past it, as it is pretty much the perfect give for me. I don't know how it is that I've never come across these little guys before, but no matter, because now I have one! Aside from the fact that he's just so darn cute, he comes with the added bonus of a built-in quacking noise when you give his belly a gentle squeeze. Quacker has been enjoying watching the cricket on the TV with me, and has already had a handful of opportunities to let rip with his quacking to accompany batsmen who've gotten out for a duck! (I do not tell a lie, I really have made him quack during the recent Test matches.)

Super poseable Gollum Gollum crawling up wall

Last, but not least, is the super poseable Gollum with crawling action. When they say super poseable, they mean it! Talk about flexible. Anyway, he came with a wall that you can make him crawl up (or perhaps "shimmy" would be a more appropriate term). To be honest though, there is only so much entertainment value to be had in making him crawl up and down the wall over and over. What I have found to be more amusing is to combine super poseable Gollum with some of my other Lord of the Rings collectibles, like so:

Gollum/Smeagol Gollumzilla!

As you can see, here I have created a physical representation of the Gollum personality taunting the Smeagol personality.
Gollum: "Oooh, that fish looks juicy sweet and we wantssss it, precioussss!"
Smeagol: *whipping around with Gollum clinging to back* "Who said that, precious?"

I've also unleashed Gollumzilla on Minas Tirith.
Denethor: *too small to see* "We're all going to die! Where is my oil?"
Gollumzilla: *in loud scary resonating voice* "I'll take Minas Tirith for meeeee!"

Hours of fun! This gift was also from my brother and his family - they are wonderful for keeping my inner child on the outer! Woohoo! :-)

As an aside, I took a peek under super poseable Gollum's loincloth (because I'm a filthy toy pervert) and the poor fellow is completely lacking. I think that explains a lot, you know?

'twas a merry, merry Christmas. As previously posted by my brother on this here blog, the most exciting gift of all on Christmas Day was the news that I shall have another nephew, or my first niece, arriving around August/September. Now there's a gift that's impossible to top. :-)


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

farewell, dear friends

Irregular Muzings is currently observing a period of mourning for the demise of its dear fellow blogs, "I'm Afraid...I'm Human" and "The Imperfect Pedant". They were much loved and will be remembered fondly for the numerous thoughtful, witty and delightful observations they shared.

Yes indeed, farewell dear friends!

Regular (or rather irregular!) Muzings programming will resume sometime in the foreseeable future.. as soon as that lazy MuzeKez gets her lazy butt out o' the beanbag in front of the tele!

MuzeKez: hey, I'm right here, punk!

PS. Happy New Year, lads and lasses!