Monday, July 30, 2007

Catching up on stuff


After an absence of nine months, I decided I should return to fitball. You might know what it's like to lapse from exercise; ever so easy to do, and ever so hard to start again. Fitball is usually a reasonably gentle activity, challenging yet allowing time to feel your muscles work in the correct ways.

The length of absence is ironic, since the reason I gave up fitball is that I was pregnant, and confided this to the teacher, whom I was pretty matey with. In the recovery from my miscarriage, I didn't feel like exercising, and then when I did feel a bit inclined to go back, I didn't feel like explaining to yet another person that the whole thing had gone awry. Going back now wasn't premeditated, I just feel saggy and sloppy and my osteopath recently gave me the hard word about my posture and flexibility (and since he was putting the full weight of his elbow into my back muscles at the time, I made a solemn promise that I would start exercising properly again).

Imagine my dismay when I fronted up to class on Saturday to find not Jordan, the cheery eye-candy that usually takes the Saturday class, but TITANIA, DARK PRINCESS OF PAIN. Who likes to make you jump and bounce to some dreadful Abba cover disco mix (I typed 'dicso', which is probably the best word for bad disco) at three times your comfort level. And then squat and bounce and lunge and bounce and hold it

until your frigging thighs explode.

Today I'm walking like an 80-year old. Yesterday I was over 90, so I guess I'm heading in the right direction. Next time I go I will ring first to check if J is back.


I just finished laying out a very interesting PhD thesis for a colleague at the art school. Unfortunately, I was given the manuscript before it was properly copy-edited, and I'd never been in that situation before. What I now realise is that I should have given it back until it had been thoroughly copy-edited, and then transformed it into a thing of beauty and grace. As it was, I was still receiving long lists of corrections last night (it was due at the printery this morning), and they were corrections that should have been made long before, things like standardising the footnotes.

So all you lovely PhD bloggers -- and I know there are lots of you out there, procrastinating away, or telling yourselves you're 'gathering cultural material', heh -- if you plan on using someone to make your thesis look beautiful, please have it completely and utterly copy-edited to within an inch of its final page before you do anything decorative to it. Remember, if it's laid out in a graphics application, and you make substantive changes, it's going to drastically change the spacing and layout on nearly every page, especially if there are images involved. And there will be curses. Unforgiveable curses. Sparking green off the walls.


In other news, while I was waiting for changes to be emailed and disks to burn, I amused myself by finally getting that 'Man of Middle-Eastern Appearance' t-shirt design on to CafePress. It's not the colour design I came up with last year; I found an almost cooler Christ, and the best thing about him is that he's chuckin' the horns.

I've started playing with some more ideas, including the RANDOM NANNA design, so watch that space.


I had a marvellous Book class today. They all overcame their fear of letterpress and spent four straight hours setting their type, to a theme of MOCK-UP. I had to prod them to take breaks, and most of them didn't stop when the four hours was up, continuing on for another hour or two. I finally just had to say 'right-o, I'm having my lunch' at 2.30! Such keen little bunnies. Next week we'll be printing, and I'll show you some results.


I really enjoyed Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Female of the Species. But I read The Post-Birthday World last week and hated it. Halfway through the book I couldn't believe there was still half to go. It's one big long slow rationalisation for what seems (from what I've read about her) to be her own relationship decisions, and it probably pressed too many of my own buttons about decisions I've made. But essentially it was dull, and unsurprising, the opposite of the other two books. I'd be interested in anyone else's thoughts on it.

And I'm revisiting my love affair with Ricki Lee Jones, playing my old records (Ricki Lee Jones and Pirates) and looping a couple of more recent cds: It's Like This and The Evening of my Best Day (the former is mostly covers, and the latter is extremely anti-Bush). Fabulous, both for music and lyrics. And Bumblebee approves, loving it all as much as I do. Hooray!

And, oh yeah. Facebook rocks. But geez it's a timewaster.


Dean said...

Random Nanna!

Pavlov's Cat said...

1) I am about to read for review the next Lionel Shriver novel after that one. It seems to be about tennis.

2) Ricki Lee Jones -- oh my my my does that take me back, even further than the PhD. My favourite is the one about the front porch and the tin-can telephone.

elsewhere said...

I couldn't say I hated the _Post-Birthday World_ but it was certainly less compelling than _Kevin_, tho better constructed maybe. I felt that prt of the problem was that the 'good life' with Lawrence was actually the way of these things, so you had to wade through a lot of boredom to get to something more interesting.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Can I ask how you get paid by Cafepress? I looked into it and it seemed the only choices were payment into a US bank account (which I don't have) or a US cheque (which I believe to be cumbersome and expensive to cash here)

Any info would be much appreciated :-)

Ampersand Duck said...

No, you're right, SS, and you only get cheques ('checks', ugh) when your percentage reaches a certain amount (you can nominate the amount by increments) and they are only sent monthly.

But I don't have the time or energy to organise anything else -- last year I toyed with having them made locally, but then I had to think about selling them as well -- so I just decided to go with it for a while and see what happens. Maybe something, maybe nothing. It doesn't hurt to have a try.

When I finally get around to making something sellable by hand, I'll start an Etsy shop too. I like the idea of these things bubbling away in the background while I'm doing a million other things!

Ampersand Duck said...

Dean -- it has to be said in a fast Ninja way, doesn't it? I've been jumping at the cats yelling


Such fun!

Mummy/Crit said...

Christ doing the horns, I like. if I were a T-Shirt wearer I'd be onto it like...something on something else...

p.s. doorbitch sez lknitd

Teej Mahal said...

Is the fitball stuff any good?

Part of me loves the idea, but I'm such an inherently git that a vid of me going ass over teakettle on the damn things will inevitably end up on YouTube.