Horrible things that didn’t happen

Here are some of the common pregnancy side effects that I managed not to have:

-very painful feet and ankles

-massive weight gain

-varicose veins

-huge numbers of moles (the skin kind, not the rodent)

-gestational diabetes

-dental problems or other bone issues due to calcium going out of mum into the baby

-high blood pressure

-complications at the birth

-ugly baby

-colicky baby

So THAT’s nice.

In a shocking break from recent tradition, I will NOT be talking about Louisette tomorrow, or posting another photo. I’ll actually be writing a good old-fashioned “Daily Awesomeness” entry. Then on Wednesday I’ll post all about breastfeeding (including the results of getting Louisette’s tongue tie fixed, which is happening tomorrow and will probably have instant results) and my mental state.

To tide you over, here is a near-fatal dose of cuteness that will have to last you until Wednesday (unless I snap and post something tomorrow after all). Regular readers will recognise Louisette’s cousin. Louisette is honestly getting prettier every single day.

Plot Device Film, and Ten Untranslatable Words

Here is a movie and an article that are sashaying around the writerly blogosphere at the moment.

Yes, it’s a long film for youtube. But it’s way shorter than a movie, and just as good. Say hi to the zombies for me.


And this is an article by someone who has picked ten words that have been adopted from English into other languages due to their precise meanings.

An Australian, an American and a British girl walk into a Chinese recording studio. . .

This video was recorded by a British girl and features an Australian man and an American woman recording a dialogue intended to assist Chinese students learning English. It singlehandedly explains all the Chinglish you’ve ever seen. As you watch, keep in mind that they were not allowed to alter the script in any way. Enjoy the increasing insanity as the Australian man starts playing multiple parts. Don’t forget to listen carefully to exactly what they say.

The fake glasses are Korean.

And here are some random photos from January last year when CJ and I went to Beijing.

I blogged about China here and here, and about the Great Wall here.

#308: Skyfire

Skyfire means two things:

1. Fireworks set to music.

2. Canberra’s annual rush hour – with drunkenness and Canberrans (unnaccustomed to serious traffic) in the mix.

Oh, and jet fighters.

People gather all around Lake Burley Griffin for hours before any kind of show begins. Around six o’clock, stuff starts happening. Jet fighters, helicopters, Jessica Mauboy, radio people (it’s run by 104.7FM), and so on.

The barges above are where all the explosives are. The helicopter is either part of the entertainment or standing by in case of drunken accidents. Beside it is the Carillion, which lights up at night (you can see it in most of the photos below).

It was very cold, and even rained.

And then it began!

Here’s a video to show you what “fireworks set to music” actually means.

The final song was “Firework” by Katy Perry.

The instant it was finished (as captured above) we elbowed children and drunks out of the way willy-nilly in order to get out of the crush before it fully congealed.

As always, totally worth it.

Tomorrow is the FINAL DAY of the Year of Daily Awesomeness.

There’ll be a greatest hits video.

S#79: Karaoke

Too embarrassed to write much. Suffice to say:

1) Yes, I prepared by drinking.

2) No, I don’t know the guardian angel beside me (although her mother was also there, and they both sang).

3) I’m so, so sorry.

4) It could have been worse. So screw #3: I’m not sorry at all.

I will admit it was strangely enjoyable.

PS For those following the twittertales, “Minion Number Two” begins on March 4. It’s a tale of intrigue, ambition, and how to train your kangaroo to infiltrate an evil lair.

#221: Diet Coke and Mentos Rocket (PG for naughty language)

1.25L Diet Coke: $1.40

Mint Mentos: $1.70

Friends: $2 each (ie 1 chocolate bar)

Accidentally making a deadly rocket out of harmless party food:


To this day, I don’t know exactly what happened. Here’s a shorter version of the rocket part:

We ran inside, babbling and near-hysterical – terrified our cameras had missed the whole thing. Out of the frantic hand-drawn pictures that ensued, this section was the most coherent:



The bottle was thrown down base-first from a height of 3.8m. It flew onto the roof of a 2-storey building 5.2m high. I think it rotated in the air and impacted on the lid, rupturing it and sending the bottle flying with maximum pressure.

The mentos-delivery system was that we laboriously strung four mentos together after putting pins through the middles (really not easy – and I accidentally* fed Ben the broken tip of a pin inside one of our reject mentos). CJ drilled through a spare lid so we could attach the mentos string, and then we put the loaded lid back on the bottle after pouring out some of the coke.

We attempted twice to replicate the rocket thing (from a far greater distance, I assure you!) but without success. Attempt # 3 was actually one of those – which is why it’s at a different location (one without people, cars, pets, or glass).

It takes just 7 pounds of pressure to break a bone, and 3 pounds to get a 1.25L bottle just 1cm off the ground. I don’t know how much force was generated in the moment of impact (however many pounds it takes to life a 1.25L bottle 5 metres in the air), but I’m confident it was enough to smash a human throat.

Playing along at home is perfectly safe on the ground, but if you throw mentos and coke onto a hard surface, make sure everyone and everything is a safe distance away – I recommend 4 metres (or twenty feet). It could definitely still hit you (coke and mentos can fly 14 metres along the ground), but it shouldn’t kill you.

And your last steampunk picture (since we’re about to seamlessly move into pirate territory for November’s twittertale “The Captain’s Daughter”):

That pic is from http://behlerblog.wordpress.com/ (this is a great writing-agent blog; the beagle is her secretary)

*Yes, really. Luckily Ben is paranoid, and his natural suspicion saved him.