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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in mysterysquid's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, December 28th, 2014
9:27 pm
Um, hello
So, I've not posted since February.


I'm getting in before the new year though, so that's something I guess.

I'll keep this fairly brief, or I'll lose my nerve and not write anything again.

As of three weeks ago, we live here!


My parents are selling the place we were living, and we didn't want to be there while people were coming through for inspections, so we jumped ship early. Still have a few odds and ends there that I'm going to collect while I'm on holiday.

Speaking of, I'm working now at Monash Unviersity. I got the job after a guy I used to work with at the Library nmentioned it on Twitter - he worked there with another educator I knew from online. As it turns out, they both left in my first two months there - within six weeks of starting I was the longest serving member of my team. The job itself also seemed to change a lot - I've ended up doing less actual education work and more project manangement. I've -- not been enjoying it, shall we say? Sigh. It's settling down a bit now, but I have half an eye out for other stuff. It's a shame really, because I loved the job I left to come to this one, but the new federal government cut the funding, bless their socks.

The bloody federal government. Ugh. I'll just say they're awful and leave it at that.

So, that's a tiny catch-up. We'll see if I can get back in the habit, shall we?
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
1:10 pm
Meme thing
So nanila posted this meme: answer these questions for a particular letter. I got S. If anyone wants a go, let me know.

Something I hate: I'm with nanila here. Hate is not a word I like to use. Hm, here we go - Spite. People who set out to do things with the express purpose of being hurtful to others. Life is hard enough as it is. "Babies - God damn it, you've got to be kind."

Something I love: I guess I'll go with Science fiction. I was a voracious reader as a kid, but I read non-fiction almost exclusively til about grade two. I think it was because I found most stuff pitched at my chronological age painfully infantile. My mum (bless her) was worried about this for some reason. The school librarian said "Don't worry, I've got an idea..." and well, here we are!

Somewhere I have been: Sigh, I've seen a lot of Australia, but I've never been overseas. Sydney, I guess? It's a beautiful city, a place that I love to visit, but I do prefer Melbourne.

Somewhere I would like to go: Yikes. Lotsa places. :P How about Space?

Someone I know: I have a friend who is seriously involved in both the SF and Lego fandoms in Melbourne. She organises conventions, goes to meetings, and seems to devote most of her time to helping other people have awesome experiences. Hi Sue Ann!

Best director: My favourite - I make no claims for best - Henry Selick.
Friday, January 31st, 2014
3:12 pm
The last few weeks
So I've had an interesting few weeks.

This got long.

Read more...Collapse )
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
9:40 pm
Right, let's see if anyone's still reading this.

It's been -- ages. Sigh.

I'm going to keep this fairly brief, otherwise I'll intimidate myself out of writing it. Hopefully it might get me back in the habit.

In my last entry, I'd just gotten a new job. The job was with the Global Education Project - we work with teachers to help them bring a global perspective to their teaching. This involved doing professional development at schools, as well as working with preservice teachers as part of their university studies. I've spent the last eight months travelling to primary and secondary schools, working with classroom teachers and curriculum coordinators to try to shape both what they're teaching, and the way they teach. I've also run tutorials and delivered lectures at all of the universities in Melbourne, as well as in Ballarat, Bendigo Geelong and Shepparton. We did some online seminars as well - I'd run those at the Library, the biggest challenge there was upskilling my colleague who was presenting!

It's been fun. I'd never given university lectures before! Feedback was great, for the lectures, tutorials, and presentations. I know I'm a good presenter, so that was never really a worry.

The worry was funding. the Project is funded by the federal government, in particular  AusAID, the foreign aid department. We had an election in September, and sadly, the winners are a bunch of arch conservatives. One of their first acts was to abolish AusAID altogether and cut the aid budget by billions of dollars. We had no word on our funding. At all. We had three changes of manager inside of two months. Everything felt very up in the air.

And then a friend from the Library mentioned on Twitter that they were hiring where he works. I applied. I had an interview - on my birthday. They called within four hours to offer me the job!

So - new new job! I'll be working at Monash University, with their Better Learning and Teaching division. We're responsible for making sure academics are making the most of the ICT the University supplies. I start on the 10th of February. I still have some presentations for Global Ed to do, and Monash have allowed me time off to do them, which is lovely. The main advantages of this job are some stability - I'm there til at least the end of 2015, and the skills base - I'll learn heaps, and let's just say I don't think eLearning will be LESS popular in the next few years. Being an "insider" at universities will also make getting other university jobs a LOT easier.

So that's the big picture.

Monday, April 29th, 2013
10:34 pm
First day in new job
...went well. :)

More later. 
Sunday, April 21st, 2013
7:59 pm
I have a job!

Starting on the 29th, I will be a project officer with the Geography Teachers' Association of Victoria. I'll be presenting professional development for teachers across the state about the Global Education Program.

I've had what - a dozen interviews and applied for probably hundreds of positions. I'm glad I was able to land a position that suits my talents and skills, eventually. Not a moment too soon either. I was getting a little bit of causal work at the Library, but not nearly enough. Tanya has been pretty stressed being the main breadwinner.

I was feeling pretty good about this one going in. It's very similar to the work I was doing at the State Library, which involved a lot of teacher professional development, in person and online. As it happens, I also know the president of GTAV - she teaches at the school I used to work at, and I'd gotten to know her pretty well. First time I've gotten a hug from a member of the interview panel! The interview went really well. Any concern I had that I might have only gotten that far by knowing the president evaporated pretty quickly.

They called my referees the day after the interview, and let me know the day after that.

It's a 0.8 time fraction job (equivalent of four days a week), but it's at a higher pay rate than the Library, so I'm barely losing out money-wise. The only downsides are it's a fair drive form home, and the four days' work is spread over five days. Oh well. I will miss working in the CBD though. No more lunchtime comic shop visits for me.

Look! It's real!

Thursday, January 17th, 2013
4:36 pm
State of the Me
Um, hello.

So I missed my birthday maths post this year. Missed my birthday entirely by over a week. Oops. :P


It's been a bit of a crummy couple of months in a lot of ways.


I finished at the Library at the end of September. Funding just dried up, and I was on a short term contract. I had a bit of money stashed, but it's gone now. acerbicmuffin is only working casually as well, which makes things double tricky.She took a second job in a shoe shop over christmas to help make ends meet, but she hated it. She's finishing up there soon, as she's picked up some more work at City of Melbourne, which is great. I've been lucky in a way, as I've scored some casual work both back at the Library and through a friend at Melbourne University, which has been brilliant. I've kept up repayments, but not much on top of that. If ONE of us had a full time job, it'd be fine. Both being casual is getting really old. I'm still applying - sent three applications off today. Things are picking up a bit after the christmas slowdown. Fingers crossed.


I've put weight back on that I'd been steadily losing, largely because I've been so sedentary for the last few months. I feel like on some level I can't leave the house because I might spend money. My last lot of bloods were surprisingly good, considering - A1c is a little up, but still in the "target" range, cholesterol, creatinine, etc. all fine. BP is okay, but again has been better. B vitamins down a bit, but that's an easy fix. I need to start exercising more and eat better.


acerbicmuffin's burlesque troupe, Va Va Boombah, have their second performance tomorrow night. I've helped make some of the costumes, and it was great fun!  I also made some dinosaur heads for us for a friend's birthday party:

I've really enjoyed making stuff. This isn't a revelation as such, but it's been a good reminder. I am already plotting the next thing. :D

TL;DR: I still exist. Here's a shaved alpaca.

Thursday, November 15th, 2012
9:45 am
Meme because why not.

"A real carnage rodeo."

Richard Kadrey, Aloha from Hell


In other news, I'm still looking for work. I was actually offered a job as an emergency operator but they specifically wanted to cover overnights and weekends, and if you screw that job up, people die. Long story short, if you're losing sleep over a job before you start, it's most likely not the job for you.

I have some causal work coming up through a few sources, but things are starting to get a bit tight.
Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
10:44 pm
So, my job at the Library? The one I really love? Wrapping up at the end of September.

But! Before then I have one more regional trip. We're taking out some awesome old-school comics form the collection to Ballarat Ararat and Horsham. That'll be great fun.

But still.

Current Mood: sad
Saturday, May 12th, 2012
10:49 pm
Goodness, I've gotten rather bad at this. It's that terrible feedback effect where the longer you go without posting, the less it feels like you have to say. I'm going to make a few posts to catch up on some big things, and see if I can post more regularly.

So, here's one I've promised a few people. Neil Gaiman!

Ninja gig!Collapse )

Current Mood: cheerful
Sunday, March 4th, 2012
9:58 pm
World Greatest Shave
It lives!

I still owe my journal posts on several trips, and Neil Gaiman, amongst other things, BUT. This is time dependent.

As some of you know, my sister died of leukaemia just over eight years ago. As I have a few times in the past, I'm going to do the World's Greatest Shave as a fundraiser for leukaemia research.

I will therefore be going from this:

To significantly less hair than that!

 It would be great if people could sponsor me! Any amount is great, it all helps.

Here's the link:


I will of course share photos of the results. :)

Thanks people!
Sunday, January 8th, 2012
10:24 am
Something something Steps (Hitchcock)
  • The sum of five consecutive primes (3 + 5 + 7 + 11 + 13), and the sum of the first three powers of 3.
  • The atomic number of yttrium
  • The number of categories of activity prohibited on Shabbat according to Halakha
  • The number of books in the Old Testament according to Protestant canon
  • The age American comedian Jack Benny claimed to be for more than 40 years - I may steal this one!
  • One of my favourite tracks from A Night At the Opera. (Apparently if the tracks on Queen's original studio albums are numbered in sequential order starting with their first, this track falls in the thirty-ninth position!)
  • The number of signers to the United States Constitution, out of 55 members of the Philadelphia Convention delegates.
  • The traditional number of times citizens of Ancient Rome hit their slaves when beating them, referred to as "Forty save one"
  • The code for international direct-dialed phone calls to Italy
  • Japanese Internet chat slang for "thank you" when written with numbers (3=san 9=kyu)
Special bonus: A photo of me I don't hate! Taken at work. Dragon puppet is totally work related.

Friday, December 30th, 2011
6:22 pm
Right, before I get back to belatedly chronicling my travels, I'll fill in what's happened in the last few days.

Christmas completely snuck up on me this year. I wasn't feeling it at all, completely disconnected. We got together presents for the kids, and I laybyed some Harry Potter lego (both halves of Hogwarts) for acerbicmuffin. As a family we chipped in to buy a fish farm in Laos through Oxfam. We started doing this a few years ago, after my brother and I realised we were just exchanging vouchers of the exact same value, and had been for a few years. Pooling our money to buy something for people who really need it seemed to be much more in keeping with the season.
Christmas day itself was chaotic. The kids got ridiculous amounts of gifts, as usual. Ours seemed to go down well - we made sure to sneak in a book for each of them! We had messages from friends near and far, including miss_m_cricket, ted_the_bug, and even expoduck in Manchester, which was awesome. We visited my aunt and her weird christmas lunch with her husband's family, a collection of very unusual people. On the way there, we were hit by an amazing storm - huge amounts of rain and hail. We joked about getting a white christmas in the middle of summer. We had our christmas lunch, where mum overcatered to a stupid degree, as always (four roasts!) We had the traditional bitching that Carols by Candlelight isn't as good as it used to be, and they hardly even have any carols anymore, it's just commercial now. In short, it was finally starting to feel like christmas!

Then the rain came back.

The second storm was at least as heavy as the first storm. The kids were actually quite scared. And then we noticed the rushing sound. Looking down the basement stairs, we were greeted by the sight of a fast running stream of water. We had experienced some minor flooding in the basement before, but nothing like this. We ended up with all of us in the basement, sweeping out water. lil_miss_morbid avoided much damage to her room, which was just off the basement, which was a huge relief. After several hours of slogging, acerbicmuffin and I came back to our room, ready to crash - which was when we discovered our carpet was weirdly dark-looking. And squishy. The entire carpet was soaked. We frantically moved everything we could away from floor level. Here's another huge relief, very little was damaged: I lost my Worldcon stuff, and Tanya lost a pattern book. We had to spend the night on the folks' couch bed.

Boxing day lived up to its name. We packed all of our belongings into boxes so we could clear the room and rip out the carpet. We've spent two nights on the couch, and then two nights with AMAZNGLY generous and supportive friends: Miss RB (of no fixed URL) and jesusandrew and 17catherines. I can't express how much this meant to us. I'm sure someone would have snapped if we'd had to stay in what's essentially my brother's lounge room for one more night.

We're now back in our own room. We have bed, chairs, laptops and tv - everything else is still boxed and in storage. We're exhausted, and it's not been much of a holiday. But we're okay, and most of our stuff is undamaged. It could have been much, much worse.

Upcoming posts: work trip to Swan Hill, holiday to Tasmania, and Secret Gig with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer!
Friday, December 23rd, 2011
11:50 pm
Work is over for the year, so I'm going to play catchup now. Not that work is an excuse really - I have friends who've had eighty bajillion christmas events that they organised, family bereavements, or in one notable case, two operations and pneumonia (hi nicholeipickle!), since I last updated. Must just be the laziness I guess.

MilduraCollapse )
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
10:34 pm

I am a lazy lazy person. I still haven't posted about Mildura, and since then, I've been to Swan Hill for work, and Tasmania for a holiday. And when I do post, what do I give you?

Ah well, too bad.

Will post again soon!
Friday, December 2nd, 2011
11:49 pm
On the road again: Ballarat
I drove back from Horsham via Ballarat, and did another teacher presentation there on my way through.

Pretty disappointed in the turnout there - I had three. Sigh. Didn't even get the regional rep who'd organised it for me! Nobody knew where she was, she'd just taken off from the office. Ah well.

I've always liked Ballarat. It's only a bit over an hour from Melbourne, and acerbicmuffin and I have always said if we HAD to live somewhere outside of the city, it'd be there.

A few more pics - including an AMAZING SIGHT that can be seen on the highway:

After this break...Collapse )

Next time - Mildura!
Sunday, November 27th, 2011
10:42 pm
On the road again.
More travel for work. I'll slap the details under a cut. I've included some photos for the curious. This will be part one of three, it's getting a bit long...

TravelsCollapse )

Last Wednesday would have been my sister Marla's 36th birthday. She died just under eight years ago. I wonder what she'd be doing now if she was still with us.
Sunday, October 30th, 2011
10:30 pm
Yeah, about that updating thing...

So, let's see.

Still eleven people in the house. It's a bit crazy a lot of the time. (For those who missed it, my brother, his wife and their four kids moved in with us while they built their new house. It's been a year and a half, and they've not started building yet.)

I went on a tour with one of the other education staff from the Library, taking some items from the Burke and Wills expedition to the public library in Warrmanbool and then showing them to a few hundred schoolkids there and in Colac. We were accompanied by a two person theatre troupe who performed a short humorous play about the expedition  artist Ludwig Becker. The items included two of Becker's paintings (this one and this one), Burke's last note, Wills' pistol, nardoo grinding stones, and the plate from the box that carried Burke and WIlls' remains back to Melbourne. We had to have special training to handle these items - white gloves and all! - and they had to be stored overnight at police stations in case of theft. In Warrnambool, they ended up in the drugs storage room, which is the most secure room in the whole station apparently! It was great to get out and give some presentations, talk to members of the public and some school kids.

Otherwise, work has been -- frustrating. I'm promoting a bunch of online resources for schools, and let's just say some of the people I've been in touch with have been less than helpful. As in, not returning emails or phone calls for weeks, not even to let me know that they weren't the person I needed to speak to any way! Argh. Term 4 is also about the worst time to be promoting resources to teachers, as they're flat out with getting things wrapped up for the end of the year. Nevertheless, I've booked trips to Horsham, Ballarat, Bendigo, and Mildura, as well as Brunswick, and I am speaking at a conference and a few other events.

Oh, I had a toenail fall off! That was exciting. I got an infection under the nail bed from a blister, of all things. When it started swelling, I went to the doctor like a good boy, but two courses of antibiotics later it didn't look much better, so the doctor was having a closer look, and the nail just sort of...fell off. Yeah, I know. It's looking much better now though.

Okay, tl;dr: still alive. I will try to do this more regularly, and then it'll be less overwhelming.
Saturday, August 13th, 2011
11:27 am
It's okay!
Had not seen this before. But I love it. Hopefully, one day the whole world will be like this.

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
6:49 pm
I Aten't Dead
As it turns out!

Just really quiet.

It's tricky when you've not posted for this long. What's noteworthy, what's not? I have no idea, to be honest. Let's see.

Work: is good Inside a Dog and Ergo have both been rebuilt and relaunched, and are going well. I've been travelling a lot promoting the sites to schools and libraries around the state, including some longer trips to Leongatha, Wangaratta, Shepparton, and Warrnambool. I've presented to all sorts of groups, big and small, teachers, librarians, students, parents, you name it. I've presented at a big Education Department conference, and I helped with the running of the Reading Matters conference, where I got to meet Markus Zusak, Rebecca Stead, Brenton McKenna, Oliver Phommavanh and even Cassandra Clare, as well as catching up with a bunch of other folks - authors I knew (like Lili Wilkinson and Karen Healey), librarians, teachers, booksellers, you name it. It's funny ghow immersed I've become in the YA scene without really even noticing.

There's a full-time slot coming up with the Centre for Youth Literature that I applied for on Friday. It'll be pretty popular, so I don't know what my chances are. Still, fingers crossed! Failing that, I still have a short-term contract til February, so that's all good.

Life in general is okay. Not hitting the gym as much as I should, but getting out a bit more. Still not great at catching up with people in perosn either, but we're seeing a lot more of ted_the_bug  now she's back in the city, which is great.

I had the most amazing surprise on Thursday - a visitor at work. Folks I know from selfportraits  might remember Paul - selahme  AKA psalm1special AKA the funny goofy guy form SIngapore! He was in Melbourne and had conspired in secret with acerbicmuffin  to surprise me. I was totally gobsmacked. He's just as lovely in person as he seems online, and he got me a present: one of those umbrellas with a katana handle. Awesome.

SO - that's a start.

Hi everyone.
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