Sunday, May 30, 2010

what i am going to do today: not much

1. wake up too early
2. go do the stupid stair climb
3. get 13 min 16 sec, worse that my first time evar
4. shower like a motherfucker
5. have the rest of the day to do sweet FA and maybe a bit of assignment

here, a picture:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the touchy-feely human parts of module 5

I love learning about the touchy-feely human bits of writing. Here are some interesting snippets from the module on corporate writing.

Senders bring their feelings, attitudes, expectations, past experience and values to any communication. These can be indicated by their tone, their response to questions and so on. This 'personal baggage' can colour the way they encode their message.
The text then goes on to say how if you don't like a person you receive an email from, it's easy to be offended by what they've written. On the other hand, you could get a rude, abrupt message from someone but don't get offended because you have a pre-existing relationship.

Learning point:
People will not be aware of what baggage you bring to the communication process unless you tell them.


Noise is what you call the things that distracts you from communicating smoothly. Could be anything - loud traffic, building construction, being interrupted by the person you are speaking to, language difficulties, emotions, headaches, etc. Basically, if it's distracting you from the flow of understanding, it's noise.

Learning point:
Noise colours the communication process and can cause it to break down entirely.
Body language

I learned a couple years ago that only 15% of our total communication is done in words. The other 85% is a mix of body language, tone of voice, facial expression and stuff like that. It's all the stuff you kinda have to feel your way through when communicating with people.

Learning point:
When you write, many of these cues are missing, so you have to choose your words very carefully. You want to ensure that there is no confusion about what you are saying.
It still trips me out a bit how some people sound like total dickheads via email, but they're really genuine and cool in person. Guess the 'being careful' thing can make a huge difference.


Despite body language communicating heaps more at once, it's not necessarily better to do everything in person. I get this quite a bit actually - sometimes people will come up for a face-to-face conversation, when a text chat or email would probably work smoother and faster.

This section of the course gives a couple paragraphs of examples, so I won't quote them here. But to give you an idea, the exercise lists a few types of communication (survey results, staff churn, deadline notices, policy announcements, meeting confirmation, etc.) and asks us to match them with the appropriate communication channels (email, newsletter, meeting in person, posters, reports, etc.).

I'd always taken that sort of thing for granted, but having to think about it now gives a bit of shape to the gut feelings. Like how you'd use a regular publication to talk about run-of-the-mill stuff, but it would be better to use surprise!methods for super exciting or time sensitive stuff.


Quick last one cos it's my bedtime...

Context: the shit that happens that might influence the way your message is understood. It's the vibe, basically. Before you communicate stuff, suss out how people are feeling.
For example, you may have good news about the tearoom refurbishment, but no one has seen your cheery email because they are still in shock at the retrenchments announced by the boss that morning.
I was shopping for a training course a couple years ago and found a "Communications for Women" course next to a plain "Communications" course. The only difference between the two that I could find was that the "for Women" course had a module on good timing. As in, how to be a bit more aware of your surroundings before opening your mouth.

Bit funny, but probably not inappropriate. Sometimes it does feel like the mental filters momentarily switch off as soon as things get a bit exciting. Maybe we're just hardwired with stronger blurt reflexes, or maybe we're socially conditioned differently to boys? Or maybe it's nothing at all and I'm just seeing things, but nonetheless, there was a tailored piece of learning for professional females.

The learning point from the Context section is basically to ask yourself a bunch of sensitivity questions about your audience before you reach out.

I am sleepy now, good night. x

bachelor frog

Monday, May 24, 2010

Things I have eaten this weekend

1. Delicious chips at Armada at the Travelodge Hotel in town. One of
the best pub chips around, though the one at the Holiday Inn still
tops my 'most impressive' list. That was a good 5 or 6 years ago, but.
Haven't been there in awhile.

2. Dolsot Bibimbap at Myoung Ga. I live that place; it's run by a
happy Korean uncle who keeps the kitchen open right up til near
closing time. They do takeaway too, and he's really eager for you to
enjoy your at-home meal. Also good: they have grape, pear AND
strawberry BongBong. :D

3. Two fat Jesters pies for lunch after Saturday morning football.
Wicked reward after a 3win-1loss session.

4. Potato noodle for second lunch. This is the new best noodle in
town. Chewy like a bastard with superb default flavour, so you can add
whatever and it will still taste fantastic. I added lemon juice and
parsley; sour balanced the salty well. Man, I'm hungry again just
thinking about it.

5. Smoked salmon crackers for dinner. The more fibrous and wholemealy
the cracker, the better. Spread generous cream cheese, dip salmon in
lemon juice before applying. Add finely chopped tomato, thin carrot
slices, thin cucumber slices; sprinkle finely chopped parsley. Yum!

6. Fish fingers with 3 dipping sauces - thousand island, Caesar and
tomato. Must remember to add 5 extra minutes with oven 20 degrees
hotter - crumbs go crunchier.

7. HooRooRook noodles for breakfast. Another new best instant mee.
Korean style, no msg, yet still bloody tasty.

8. Open ham sandwich, blogged earlier today. Faaaark what a treat :)

9. Fish finger snack after outdoor football. Wee! Ranch sauce that
time, I think. It was the survival snack so we'd have enough energy to
think about dinner.

10. Beef stew!! No stock, no additives. Just tasty veggies, bit of
salt, herbs and spices. Really excited to experiment with not using
pre-made stuff. More a curiosity thing than for health reasons, but
would be nice if there were health bonuses alongside.

The spice I'm currently playing with is cardamom. It's tangy and warm,
so delicious on beef.

I have a leftover turnip, parsnip and mushrooms. Might get a new
bottle of random spice and make a soup. Sadly, soup and stew are the
only things I'm any good with.

The picture in this post isn't from this weekend, but from Wednesday
night. Tried the Beaufort Street Steakhouse; that was the charcuterie
platter. Delicious lavosh crackers with strange tasty mustard dip,
baby gherkins, capers, prosciutto, shaved pork, rabbit pot and warm
soft chorizo.

The steaks were quite remarkable too -cooked evenly all the way
through. Yummy sauce (pick from 4), small potato side (chips, mash or
jacket spud). A+ would patronize again.

Okay, pretty hungry now. Also getting sleepy. Oh yes, that's number
11: an antihistamine for good night's sleep.

Hasta mañana, everyone!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What an awesome treat!!

Best lunch evar <3

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Winning lotto ticket

That's $28.65, for those who can't read Out Of Focus. Congrats, fuzz :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

what i'm studying tonight - loose sentences

Loose and periodic sentences tonight.
A loose sentence expresses the main idea first:

The girl wrote with incredible monotony, not realising how much it annoyed her readers.

A periodic sentence saves the main statement to the end:

Not realising how much it annoyed her readers, the girl wrote with incredible monotony.

In the loose sentence, the chief contention is clear from the start; in the periodic sentence, you must read to the end for the full meaning. Used too frequently, the periodic sentence can annoy the reader.
Interesting, huh? :)

I'm very tired. We won at outdoor indoor football tonight. Hooray! Was good to win against that team too, since we drew the last couple of times we played them. Had cannelloni for dinner, with spinach & rocket on the side.

And now, it's study time.

For you, some links:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tie me kangaroo down, sport - dnb remix

Primary school would have been way more fun remixed.

Thanks, dos4gw, for the link!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chips' stick man

Artwork by @chipschipschips

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mood writing from Module 3

Yep, up to Module 3, about editing and grammar. There's lots of little holes in this one - topics that the heading & contents page suggest are covered, which are in fact either not covered or foggily covered. Perhaps these are "stretch" objectives, the way the Blue Screen of Death is "stretch" screensaver.

Here's an interesting snippet, not taken verbatim, from this part of the course. It's about the mood of verbs - how you convey feeling by the way you use a verb amidst the rest of the sentence.

There are three moods:

1. Indicative - where the verb makes a statement or asks a question:

She creates drama.
Does she create drama?

2. Imperative - gives a command or makes a request:

Have fun now!
Wash your hands in the sink.

3. Subjunctive - ...

The explanation gets a bit hazy here. It sounds like the subjunctive mood is where you are expressing possibility, doubt - stuff that's not a question, statement or direct order. So, like... daydream talk: "Oh, I wish this part of the course wasn't so dry and confusing."

As it stands, I am getting nervous. The assignments I've already handed in haven't yet been marked and returned. I need to work doubly-hard next week to get back on schedule. How excitement! Garr...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

new wordpress theme, and it was probably a stomach bug

Made my very first evar Wordpress theme today. :) May I present SandySoft - still not fit for public distribution, but I hope to clean it up and list it, open source, whatevery, blah. All for you, my lovely dears. Experience it at

It's become a comforting habit, redesigning as a healthy distraction while on the mend. Sure beats lying in my own filth on the couch, watching Trailer Park Boys, for 2 days in a row. (Just the one day was fine.)

For anyone yet to be afflicted, or wondering if they may be getting sick, here's the official list of symptoms (gathered from friends who also got sick around the same time):
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sore kidneys
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Evil poos
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen glands
And stuff I found helpful:
  • Carrot slices, cucumber slices & Salada crackers
  • Canned Irish stew (just don't eat the meat bit until you feel better)
  • Chamomile tea
  • More Salada crackers
  • Packet noodles (not spicy)
  • 100Plus isotonic water
  • Mineral water, if normal water gets boring
  • Yakult
Plus lots of sleep.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Worst time to be sick

This is the worst time to be sick. So much going on at work, at home,
arrrgh :((

Still not sure if it's flu or food poisoning; it's pretty horrible and
I just want it to go away. Mummy... :(

On the upside, it's nice to have a break. I keep daydreaming about
being 5 years old and my grandma taking care of me, feeding me rice
porridge with bovril and smelly Chinese medicine.

Tonight, I've eaten some canned Irish stew, salada crackers, cucumber
and carrot. And some sports water. Please please please, I'd like to
not be sick tomorrow. Please.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

So very very tired, and why does my face hurt?

Went to dad's giant birthday dinner party on Friday night. And by
giant, I mean more than our regular "4 for noodles" evening. It was
good to see aunties and uncles who I haven't talked to in ages. Quite
overwhelmed, though - despite growing up with mum and dad's dinner
parties, I feel heaps more comfortable having quiet, reclusive time.
This better not be early onset Crazy Cat Lady-itis.

I had a glass of wine that was as old as me OMG!! It tasted like dates
mashed through a gym sock. Yum yum~

Not feeling well tonight. Ran almost a full game of football today,
and I'm really knackered. Feels like I've been beaten up, and now my
tummy is playing funny buggers. Will end this post now, but I have
some interesting links to share with you... tomorrow.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

a gentle weekend

Got some leisurely designery in - has a new skin. Simpler and less bug-prone, I hope.

This weekend's passed by quietly, as I hope this night will too. There is a party on tonight, but I am here at home, a little poorly and tired after this morning's football match. No, it wasn't really that hard a run; I'm just not that fit yet.

I've got tomorrow off work, but it won't be a slacker day. Hope to get some laundry done and make some progress on my assignment. Did you guys get up to anything exciting? Message me, I love stories! :)