Category Archives: With a list

2011 Top Ten Awesomenesses

Hot air balloon

World Map of Food


Zombie Walk 

Steam Train

6. Beach (for our second honeymoon/pre-emptive babymoon) and sandcastle


Young Symphonists

Get pregnant

Getting rescued by firemen was cool too.

2011 was somewhat dominated by pregnancy and pregnancy-related illness, but there were a few other really cool things going on: I wrote and edited a steampunk novel; CJ’s brother got engaged (CJ and Louisette and I will all be visiting Hong Kong and Beijing next year for the wedding – and blogging about it, naturally); and my sister and her family told me they’ll be living in Canberra (for at least a year) from June 2012. We had dramas with disappearing cats, a ceiling collapse, and nearly going to court over a paperwork issue – but it all worked out in the end.


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Christmas on the interwebs

Christmas and New Year’s Day are two of the slowest and dullest days on the internet each year, so I’ve prepared three special blog entries just for you.

Christmas Eve: Something special from the watery depths (tentacles most definitely included).

Christmas Day: Top ten awesomenesses of 2011 (it turns out my year wasn’t nearly as dull as I remember).

New Year’s Day: Sarcastic Christmas letter.

You’re welcome, internet! You deserve love after giving us this:


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Top Ten FREE Awesomenesses

It’s finally here! The ultimate awesomenesses for my poverty-striken peeps. I’ve marked with an asterisk those I think are worth clicking on (either for stylish writing or for pictures). And without further ado. . .

10. Feed ducks

9. Blob/No Plans

8. Join the Library and Read Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy*

7. Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon*

6. Sculpture Garden or The National Carillon or whatever’s free in your area*

5. Kidnap your date (or a friend)

4. Light a Fire

3. Steal Flowers*

2. Bubbles!*

1. Frolic in a Fountain*

This is it. . . the youtube clip that’ll soon reach 13,000 views. I can only conclude that the internet was expecting something else.

I have a special treat for next Monday. You’ll never guess what it is, but here’s some random clues all the same:

1. It involves a visitor from China (who is not Chinese).

2. Americans should find it especially entertaining/horrifying/insulting, depending on their personality (but it’s not at all mean in any way).

3. It is, allegedly, educational.

4. It is very, very funny.


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Top Ten Awesome Pics

Here they are, the pictures that in my opinion are the most peculiar/troublesome/unique/spectacular from the year of Daily Awesomeness. A few also appear in the other top ten lists. I’ve marked with an asterisk those that are attached to well-written or interesting blog articles, and pointed out for your benefit when the awesomeness in question has several excellent pictures for your enjoyment.

10. Skyfire 2011

9. Tattoo a baby

8. Macabre expression of love*

7. Sarcastic Christmas Letter (this photo is from the Great Wall)*

6. Wedding photos (plenty more beautiful/funny pictures)

5. Play with a cat

4. World map of food (all of which are listed in the article)

3. Hot air balloon ride (more beautiful pictures in the article, naturally)

2. Bubbles! (lots of beautiful pictures if you click through)

1. Octopus in an unexpected place (so many awesome pictures it was hard to pick this one – if you like it, click through for the rest)

Special thanks to my mum for the use of her bird bath.

Next week: The top ten FREE awesomenesses, including a surprising number of my personal favourites (and featuring the youtube video I made that now has over 12,000 hits).


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Top Ten Awesomenesses

I’ve now sorted ALL 365 awesomenesses into three top tens – the top ten that cost money, the top ten that are free, and the top ten pictures from the year.

Here’s the first list, leading up to my personal favourite.

10. Home Made Lemonade – with SCIENCE!

Cost: Perhaps $10 for lemons, sugar, and the secret ingredient.

Deliciousness: Yes.

Feeling: A mix of home-cooking pride, childhood nostalgia, and mad science.

Danger: Er. . . not getting scurvy?

9. Home-Delivered Meal

Cost: $20-$50

Deliciousness: Yes.

Feeling: All the luxury of a restaurant – but you can do it in your pajamas. Win.

Danger: Minimal.

8. A Whole Meal of One Colour

Cost: Perhaps a dollar or two more than the meal would already cost.

Deliciousness: Medium.

Feeling: You get the benefit of messing with the head of whoever you live with, plus the surreal joy of a meal that Just Looks Wrong.

Danger: Minimal. Increased slightly if you don’t tell your housemates what you’re doing in advance.

7. Cake and Chopsticks (the more participants the merrier)

Cost: Maybe $20.

Deliciousness: Sure.

Feeling: Chaos – as you gleefully play with your food AND make a huge mess. Also, chopstick battles.

Danger: Splinters.

6. Go Mad in a Lolly Shop

Cost: $20-$50

Deliciousness: Absolutely.

Feeling: The best parts of being an adult combined. You can buy AS MUCH AS YOU WANT and then you can eat AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. And then you can feel AS SICK AS YOU WANT and YOUR MOTHER WILL NEVER KNOW.

Danger: Nausea, diabetes, heart disease. Mother showing up unexpectedly and looking askanse at you.

5. Go to the Beach and Eat Fish and Chips There.

Cost: $20 + travel (and possibly accommodation)

Deliciousness: Mmm. . . salty laaaarrrrrdddd. . .

Feeling: All the sunshine and freedom and beauty of the best holiday you’ve ever been on – because here in the antipodes, “holiday” is a synonym for “go to the beach”.

Danger: Sharks, jellyfish, coral. Lard.

4. Diet Coke and Mentos Rocket.

Cost: $10

Deliciousness: No! No, you moron, stop trying to drink that!

Feeling: ROCKET! Aieeeee!

Danger: Bruising, blindness, death. Disappointment (the rocket thing was a fluke – the wild spraying, however, is entirely reliable).

3. Adopt a Pet 

Cost: $50-$300 (goldfish versus the colourful ones) – lots more for fluffy animals.

Deliciousnes: How could you say such a thing? What kind of a monster are you?

Feeling: This is the other good side to being an adult – the feeling that you have somehow evolved to be able to take care of others as well as yourself. Also, pets are entertaining and good-looking. I hear some are also affectionate.

Danger: Death (the pet, not you – but it’s devastating).

2. Become an Aeronaut.

Cost: About $250 per person.

Deliciousness: Do not eat the balloon.

Feeling: Exactly like flying should feel. Also, gorgeous views. Sheer serenity. I definitely recommend ballooning in your own town rather than elsewhere.

Danger: Crashing into the sea or elsewhere – but that possibility is extremely low.

1. Horseriding.

Cost: $50 per person.

Deliciousness: Not permitted unless you are caught up in medieval battle, then have to make an epic journey of some kind. And you’re all out of serfs.

Feeling: Like very uncomfortable flying, but also a wonderful sense of attempting communication with a highly intelligent creature – and of course learning the skills of two hundred years ago.

Danger: Falling.

And here’s a repeat of the top awesomenesses music video – because I can. (Some of these are represented here, and some elsewhere.)

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S#12: Healing Stones

My mission today was to go to “one of those hippy shops” and buy “something weird.” I bought a pack of “Mystic East” Frangipani incense sticks that apparently “improves the concentration of the mind for meditation and prayer”.

I decided, by way of experiment, to see if burning fangipani incense helped me remember more details from the history book I’m currently reading. Unfortunately, although I can’t say it didn’t improve my concentration, it did give me a headache so quickly that I didn’t have time to crack open the book. Result: Inconclusive, but definitely non-helpful.

I moved the burning sticks on their improvised stand into the laundry – home of cat food, CJ’s bike, and cat litter – to see if it could dissipate the peculiar smell that has lingered in that room since the octopus incident.

I can’t tell for certain if the smell is gone or not, but when I went inside to test the air (and check I hadn’t just burned down our rental home), I got a surprise: Ana was hanging out happily on the floor. Neither cat has EVER just lolled about in the laundry before – it’s their toilet, after all.

So it seems I’m mildly allergic to incense, but my cat really likes it.


There are very few items left on the list of awesomeness. Here’s what I’ve promised to do before the end of next month:

#79: Karaoke (and yep, I’m gonna sing – even if it kills me and every other person in the room – and video it)

#86: Starry Night (at an observatory)

#94: Pay off debt (it’s gonna be a tight squeeze, but I hope we can pay back my parents in the next four weeks).

#89: Dinner and a movie (all by myself – that’s the condition)

#32: Break from technology (four days down, three to go)

#8: Ich bin ein stern (glow in the dark stars)

#28: To the theatre (we plan to see the one-man Lord of the Rings! Awesome!)

and the most expensive exciting. . .

#76: Up in the air (hot air balloon ride!)

On THIS sunday, I’ll be writing about the epic international feast.

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#252: Tattoo War

Ever woken up on New Year’s day with a champagne headache and half a dozen pirate tattoos?

I know I have.

It started off so civilised. I put a pretty thing on my sister’s ankle.

I put another on the arm of She Who Must Not Be Named*.

CJ “volunteered” for a pirate flag.

And then I picked what I wanted, and CJ and I had a long conversation about Are You Sure, No Really I’m Being Serious About This, You Want To Do This? and, You Do Remember That We’ll Be Going To Church For Your Niece’s Dedication, Right? and, Okay Just Remember That I Asked.

My sister graciously helped me with it, which meant the cloth we used was extremely wet. It was rather a lot like standing under a waterfall, with my head held in a vice.

Worth it!

Also, I discovered I could make it dance.

At that point we still had heaps of tattoos, so I did the only logical thing: I slapped a treasure map on my sister’s leg.

She retaliated by putting the remainder of that sheet on my chest.

I struck back with a pirate ship on her neck (making sure plenty of cold water dripped down her shirt).

She gave me upside down skull drool.

And then, finally, the battle was over and it was time for dinner.

It was the slowest, wettest war ever.

As promised, here is my real tattoo which I had done on my belly to mark the year I gave up my dream of moving to Indonesia permanently (where tattoos are more difficult for Upstanding Folk to deal with).

It’s quite high up on my belly, in hopes that future pregnancy won’t utterly mangle it. If I remember (in however many years’ time), I’ll post another photo of it after I’ve had a kid or two.

It didn’t hurt all that much – the difficult part was lying on my back and thinking more and more about how the whole reason I was there was so the nice man could cut into my flesh. And then when I was finished, they put some cling wrap over it to catch the blood that kept running for the next hour or so.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but cling wrap doesn’t actually cling to skin.

But it’s all fine now, and fun whenever I wear a bikini top.

Today is 1/1/11, which is cool. It also means less than three months remain of my Daily Awesomeness experiment (not that I expect to stop being awesome anytime soon). Here’s the few remaining items from my list:

10: Trim (aka clothing attack)

8: Glow in the dark stars on a friend’s ceiling

19: Bells around my ankles

32: Seven days without TV or internet (two down. . .)

94: Pay off debt

89: Dinner and a movie. . . by myself

93: Collect something interesting

86: Starry night at an observatory

79: Karaoke (uh oh)

80: Sparklers

99: Mmm. . . sprinkles

28: To the theatre

12: Healing Stones

2: Sushi

95: Paddle pool

39: Learn Braille

4: Share the cookie wuv

73: Get away from it all (ie, go on holiday with CJ)

77: Go to a deserted beach (ditto 🙂  )

76: Up in the air (hot air balloon ride!)

And naturally, there are plenty of the infamous Ben suggestions coming up.

As always, feel free to make your own suggestions and I will almost certainly do them (especially if they’re free).

*That is, my mum. She’s a priest at a nursing home, so she was Concerned About Her Reputation and asked me to be sure to cut off her head. Which I did.


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