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My friend Dinesh is visiting from India this weekend. He gets in on Friday afternoon, and leaves early (9amish) on Monday morning. 1) Any chance anyone can help out with lifts to/from the airport? 2) Does anyone want to do Tourist Stuff around Perth over the weekend? Maybe dinner on Saturday night? That is all!

OHNO TEA!

Nov. 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm
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My brother spilt tea on PinkHairClaire's laptop the other day. She was awfully nice about it, and has been trying to get by with her netbook, but it seems an inconvenient way to do things when you are studying. Do any of you guys have a laptop that you're no longer using that you wouldn't mind giving/selling to me? I am also willing to swap for Stuff, if there's Stuff I can help you with.
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Sometimes it seems like my LJ has become an almanac of excuse notes.

The next few weeks, at the very least, are going to be hard. For a variety of reasons. This means I will be maintaining what has become my usual level of being-terrible-at-catchups. As usual, I'm sorry. As usual, I still like you very much, and will be missing you.

I'm going to be trying to make more time to spend alone, because I'm sorely feeling the lack of it at the moment.

Catchups that revolve around doing work together will be much appreciated.

I will be trying to ask for help when I need it. This doesn't feel easy for me, although the size of my 'internets please help' tag tells me that I probably do it more often than I think I do.

I will be trying to be a good person in all the ways that I know how.
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Among the inconveniences of the last few days (which include: broken hard drive, lost passport, lost wallet), my mp3 player has stopped working (does not turn on, does not show up when plugged into my computer). Plan B is to look for a second-hand one on ebay or something. Plan A: does anyone have an old mp3 player that they're no longer using and are willing to give or sell me?

There are some other things I would like to write about, mostly about post-thesis life, but that's for later.
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So, I have a question about tax. I tried to call the tax helpline, but apparently it's too complicated for them. Which seems ridiculous. I figure the Internet probably knows the answer.

So, I made some money this year as me.
And I made some money this year as me-with-an-ABN.

But, there is no handy section on the individual tax return forms saying "money you made as you-with-an-ABN here please".

Do I need to fill out a different form for me-with-an-ABN?
(If not, where do I write me-with-an-ABN-income?)
Do I need to get some kind of pay summary for me-with-an-ABN?

I feel like this should be easier, given the pitiful amount I made in the last year and the fact that it only came from two sources. (Maybe I will ask my dad, also. I hear he is a grownup.)
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* I babysat Miss Z, who is around one-and-a-half, yesterday. She hadn't had an afternoon nap and was pretty traumatized when her father left, and burst into heart-breaking sobbing. When I stopped hugging her and put her down she walked over to the front door and held her hand against it, like maybe if she could get it open he would come back. Oh my. In the end I put on some jazz and we listened to it together, and then she pointed at some things and made little-mammal-snuffling noises. I gave her my XO to play with, and she tried very hard to destroy it, but mostly just made it sticky.
* I have decided to go to Newcastle at the end of next week for a one-week change of scenery. I have been getting more and more frustrated with my thesis, and I think I was starting to feel like it was just going on and on. Even the thought of working in a different place for a while makes me feel a bit less anxious about the whole thing.
* J has been ridiculously lovely, and when I had a little Panic last night about not being able to concentrate on my thesis he did a good job of back-patting and plan-making. Today I actually got some work done! Not a heap, but enough that I feel a bit more on-track again. I also called N and received further reassurances, and had a nice lunch with my father, and am generally feeling cared-for.

Also: I need to buy some elastic for my crochet-skirt's waistband. Can anyone recommend a place to do this that isn't in the middle of nowhere?
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* Bicycling: out to Mount Hawthorn last night, listening to interesting podcasts and feeling independent and adventurous. Especially whilst...
* Dressing up like an adventurer: there's nothing like Ridiculous Indian Pants under a tweed skirt, with boots and felted fingerless mittens, to make me feel intrepid. Today I am similarly themed, and it makes me feel like I have a secret stock of strength.
* Knowing how to do things: Darning socks. Fixing my bicycle tire. White vinegar and bicarbonate soda for a thermos with a lingering smell. Crocheting a skirt without a pattern. I love being able to fix and make things.
* Writing: my thesis is finally starting to feel like it may, one day, be finished. My latest commission for ActNow was accepted. I have been blogging furiously over on witty title pending. I have been thinking of lots of story ideas, and need some fiction-writing time.
* Music practise: J and I have been having some music practice time of late. He has been playing guitar, which I find is quite a pleasant instrument to listen to, even for tuning. I have been playing accordion (if it's not too late) or the keyboard (if I suspect littles are in bed). I am quite terrible, but have still been enjoying it.
* Advice from grownups: I am not very good at asking for, or taking, advice. But I have a great appreciation for it in small doses. I like having Older-and-Wisers to give advice: γιαγιά telling me that she thinks the skirt I'm making should flare out, Supervisorface talking to me about my chapters, Think Tank Ladies giving advice on whether to go for government jobs, Liz reminding me how to crochet, dad telling me to go adventuring, mum telling me about work stuff, my aunt showing me how to take in a dress (and sewing it for me).
* Family: Feeding people at our place. Watching J play tavli with παπου. Working in the garden at my family's place. My brother's delight in plants. Little chats with cousins, about boys and politics and school.


Also: I am excited about barcamp. I wasn't thinking of doing a workshop, but Jarrad suggested doing one together, so maybe? But I hate the thought of doing a workshop or something and noone being interested. So: is there anything I know about that you guys would like to know about? Or that you think other people may find interesting?
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I've cut back on my usual voluminous output of Online Stuff over the last few weeks, what with the Greek exam and the marking and the no Internet at home. Hopefully services will be returning to normal soon, and you can go back to wondering if you really need to read all of these blogs to be my friend. (You don't. There is no quiz.)

Anyway, time for an update. Things I have enjoyed lately:
* Cycling! I am cycling a lot less now that I live to uni, but I had a couple of good long cycles in the last week, one to Maylands and one to Inglewood. I like to cycle along at my own slow pace and listen to podcasts and maybe get rained on just a little.
* Crafternoons! It is nice to sit with ladies and eat biscuits and gossip and make stuff. And, on a related note:
* Free wool! Jessica Monster gave me a whole heap of wool to make a skirt with. I'm crocheting it. Should I just make a tube, or try to flare it out a bit? I have no idea what I'm doing!
* People! Oh my! I have so many lovely people in my life. Lately I have been fretting a bit, and feeling like I am less than lovely. I worry about things, like maybe I talked too much that one time. But I am trying to fret less.
* Jobs! Well, the job I got offered is now no longer the go. A bit sad, but I've applied for another job, and even if I don't get it I appreciated being forced to write a few pages about how wonderful I am for the application. Turns out I Know Things, and also Have Experience. Hurrah!
* Books! I went to the library and got as many books as I could carry. I just read the first one, and it had lots of lists in it. I liked the lists of 'things I got excited about as a kid'.

Also!

Apr. 28th, 2009 04:27 pm
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1) Is anyone who is upright and responsible and capable of repeatedly not killing a small dog interested in house-sitting in Wembley from 6th to 18th July? You may get paid a few hundred monies for it.
2) If I was going to buy a second-hand ASUS S5200N from a friend, what would be a fair price to give them?
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We need to get a sofa bed, and while my mind immediately springs to IKEA (oh, to have an excuse to go stare at the tiny fake rooms!) I feel like we should explore other options first. I'm willing to consider getting one second-hand as long as it's sturdy, and maybe if we could replace the mattress also? I am also a bit leery of spending ages driving around different op-shops, since a) I'm feeling rather time-poor, and b) driving! ick!

Are there any furniture stores in Perth that are particularly ethical (sustainable/locally-made/fair trade)?

I might try Freecycle also, or perhaps if I'm feeling really brave think about making one - any other ideas on how to get a reasonable ethical, sturdy, cheap, sofa bed?
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* I am going to be in Sydney between 18th and 24th of February. Actually, I will mostly be in Armidale or doing a workshop during that time, but I will be free the evening of the 20th, I think. Does anyone want to have dinner/put me up? (Also: are any of you guys in Sydney?)
* My brother is quite wonderful. He told me a story about his mice: his house has lots of mice. They like to hide behind the microwave, and poop. So, one day they used the microwave, and a poor little mouse came staggering out and died a dramatic death. Very upsetting! After considering the problem carefully, they got rid of the microwave, because who wants such a terrible killer in the house? Now the mouse hang out somewhere different, and more hidden, and everyone's happy. For some reason I find this story very cheering. It reminds me that people are not so bad, after all.
* My family is pretty excellent, did I mention? I like Παπού playing tavli with Ms N and debating, Γιαγιά's stories and her popping some dessert into Ms N's mouth mid-sentence, Byron's attempts to lure Brotherdear or J into playing with him, Strati's standard response to Relationship News ("well, when are you bringing them around?"), Lorraine's quiet strength, GirlCousins' willingness to debate ethics and morality, Motherdear's automatic carbon-neutralling of my flights, Fatherdear's continual attempts to work out where he is and where he wants to be. I am very lucky!
* Ms L came around the other night to work on my story. It's quite wonderful to write with/for someone who's that expressive - I am usually so nervous when someone reads my work with me near, but I really enjoy all of her laughing and approval-faces and questions. Also, it is fun to make demands like, "draw a thing here that is like a rubbish bin crossed with a cloud, but sparkly".
* A couple of nights ago I had a dream that my first complete thesis-draft was finished. It still had lots of 'insert research here' bits, but it felt so amazingly good. Like a dream about flying, where you're simultaneously surprising that you can do and at how wonderful it is.
* A couple of nights ago I had a dream about
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Two questions:
* Can anyone recommend a half-decent laptop (brand/model) for under AU$1500? Dr. C has agreed to me helping her to purchase a laptop and set it up with Ubuntu (hurrah!) All it really needs to do is word processing, etc, play music, and must be able to burn CDs.
* Does anyone else use Doteasy for their website hosting? I am using their free, training-wheels-on service to lower 'barriers to participation' for the Think Tank. BUT! how do you create a page without it showing up on the sidebar? I would be surprised and delighted if anyone here has come upon the same issue. Seriously, this is driving me crazy. I have had actual dreams about it, which is in a way pleasant because it's displacing the thesis-related-night-terrors.
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One of the reasons that yesterday was Not Awesome was that J's ipod broke. It now just entirely fails to turn on. I was using it because my music player broke. This means: no podcasts for me! (*gasp* *shock* *horror*) I really don't want to buy a new one, because there is so much Electronic Stuff floating around the world from when everybody upgraded their Thing. So, what I am saying is:

a) does anyone have a music player of some sort sitting in a drawer that they're willing to sell/give me? Or
b) can anyone recommend a good place to buy second-hand music players, or alternatively a model that I should look for on Ebay or something?

Also: Ms S from work who has a SmallChild who has developed a deep ambivalence about computers. She watches the other children play, but is too scared to play herself because she's not allowed to touch computers. So Ms S would like to get her a play-computer. Does anyone have an old laptop lying around the place that they're willing to sacrifice?

Yesterday I went to the beach with Miss C and Klaus. It was windy, and I spent most of the time trying hard not to drown. My favourite part was when about forty teenagers ran past us into the waves, lemming-like, and starting swimming through the enormous waves towards Somewhere. I imagine by now that some of them have reached Antarctica. Miss C suggests that perhaps they curl up, pod-like, and float on to colonise new continents. I had the best sleep I've had in days last night - perhaps going to the beach should be a more regular feature?
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Most of my days have been like this: wake up, rush to do things, rush to uni, try to work, rush home, try to do more things, rush to meet people, discuss agendas.

So, yesterday uni was all tippetytaptippetytap as fast as I can because I am meant to be finishing a chapter by tomorrow (hah!) or maybe monday (which would still involve writing around 19,000 words in four days). Plus also some lunch, and some looking-after-baby-Phoebe. And then I rushed home, went to the shops, baked a cake while trying to talk coherently to K (who very nicely forced me to sit down and relax for a while and did the dishes), and then rushed off to Think Tank meeting. We had an agenda for think tank. It was an actual, real, action-points, meeting. The upshot of it was:

Now that we have our doteasy account, I need to learn how to make it go. Our website will need to have a few publications, maybe some blogs, and maybe some discussion forums. Can anyone recommend a good tutorial or...something... I am not even entirely sure what it is that I need. Some sort of dreamweaverish program?

This morning I have been rushing around packing school lunches and planting garlic and tidying things that I feel need to be tidy so that I feel good about life.

And now I am at uni, and it is work-time, which I feel quite good about.

I would like you all to know that I miss you, though, and the reason I am being all Absent is busy-related: I still like you very much. *hugs*
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Today has been a busy family day, mostly, with some Talks in and also some eating. Some of the Talking was exhausting, but it's also good to see people and be in family spaces. Other things I did in family spaces today include:
* having a nap,
* losing at tavli,
* having my first accordion lesson (my arms hurt!),
* explaining about my new think tank (BEFORE I FORGET: where is a good place to host a website? It will need space for a few documents, nothing too crazy...),
* listening to my grandparents swear in arabic.

Now I am going to go to bed under about 6 blankets, wearing two pairs of socks, pajamas, and extra shirts, in the hope of being warm enough to sleep.
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So, today I tried to turn my laptop on, and the screen is basically fucked, It goes from a plain black screen to something like a Rothko painting, mostly white with hints of colour at the edges. Since it doesn't seem to go through any starting-up-before-ubuntu bits, this seems to be a hardware issue rather than software.

1) does this assessment seem correct?
2) WHAT DO I DO OH DOOM OH DOOM OH DOOM?

I'm backed up for most of my thesis, but I haven't backed up the last couple of days' work. Also, my laptop is a Dell, if that helps any.

Also: assuming I'm going to have to get a new laptop, I figured I should probably get a new one this time. I want something as lightweight as possible (since I'm lugging it to and from uni every day on my bike), preferably not prone to any kind of hardware failure, and able to do the basics. If it's capable of doing some compiz-style shininess I wouldn't be averse to that. And, of course, coming either with linux or easily compatible with linux is a plus. I've heard good things about the Vaios, but I wouldn't mind a second (or third) opinion on them. Price range is < $2,000, preferably closer to $1.500.
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So, there are some things that I Want, right now. I though I might tell the interweb, because perhaps some bits of it have advice for me or might want to go thing-getting with me. Here is my list of demands:

1) A new water bottle, preferably one that won't give me cancer or be too heavy.
2) A kite, preferably one that is easy and light enough to be flown by a small child.
3) Some pretty summer dresses, preferably fair trade, locally made, or second hand.
4) A new copy or three of Flora Segunda. (Also I would like Madame Wilce to write some more books, write now, please. And also Doctorow's Little Brother. But I will settle for demands that can be met without a warping of the space-time continuum!)

I think that's it. It felt like there were more.
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Just upgrading my OS to Gutsy Gibbon. Unfortunately I seem to have done this in the least practical way possible. So very little internet access for a while (plus there's christmas). So if you emailed or something and haven't heard from me (in more than the usual aeon), that may be why.

[My problem is that even the wired connection seems not to be working. This is frustrating, especially since getting wireless up and running requires an internet connection of some type. Advice? Offers to come over and help? All are welcome!]

also: i am not sick anymore, but i am decidedly worn out.
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So, I'm sitting around in my office right now, wondering where all the people have gone. Kate's moved out of the office, so everything is looking rather bare, and all the staff seem to be on holidays. A bit of a pity, since I think I'm still in adventuring-mode, wanting people to see and things to do.

Which leads me to my next subject:
a) Are you a People?
b) Are you in Perth?
c) Are you my friend, or would you like to my friend?
d) Do you like to do Fun Things?
If you answered yes to all of the above, perhaps we should catch up sometime soon? I have been missing you guys.

Also: does anyone have a bicycle pump that they have no further need for? I would like a smallish handpump, something that I can attach to my bicycle. I rode in this morning, and it was wonderful to cycle again, but my back tire is kind of squishy...I suspect that it will not be in a fit state for the cycle home. (sadface)

Maybe instead of more voluminous posting I will stop here and save up my words for when I see people? (But I might need some punching, when I go on about India. I have put all my stories on here! I want to hear your stories now!)

[hmm...my throat is kind of...uncomfortable... and my housemate has the dreaded lurgy... I hope this isn't a sign of upcoming Doom.]
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After much effort by the FOSS community, RMS, and some key people within Kerala's government, the state's IT policy now explicitly states that:

"Free and Open Source Software will be used in all government funded ICT
e-Governance projects to the maximum extent possible. Preferential treatment will be
given to FOSS as it enables the knowledge to be used democratically, makes software
accessible to every one and is economical."

So there are a few pretty cool projects happening here, many of them run through SPACE - today we learnt a bit about the IT @ School program to get highschools using FOSS. Apparently over the last year (?) they've got the program running in hundreds of schools, trained all the teachers, and rewritten the textbooks (!). We also looked at Insight, a school where they're teaching blind people to use Orca and Ubuntu to use computers, as well as to train others.

It's all pretty nifty. And they could use help - especially if people are willing to come for a few months (they said four to six months would be a good span of time, and they could help out with accommodation). So if you're thinking of taking a break and doing something new for a while, perhaps you should come hang out here (or at Janastu) for a bit and help out? I think you would have fun.

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