September 30th, 2008



So I think I knew something was afoot even before leaving for dinner as I had started writing a post about it but ran out of time.

I had just turned the shower on and was about to hop in when my phone rang. So I switch off the taps, answer the phone and my mother says,"So 20 people are going to dinner tonight. So I'm dressing up a notch from usual."
Me: ?
My mother: well just that I had visions of you racing in from Rockingham, jumping in the shower and throwing on whatever.
*I look around to see if there is a webcam or something over my shoulder*
Me: Well I'm just jumping into the shower now. I'll see what I feel like wearing when I get out.

Weird right? Not so with hindsight.

But I was a bit paranoid so I did dress "up a notch from usual" - wore eyeliner and mascara and hoped for the best. When I went to my mother's on the way there she reiterated the 20 people. I pointed out that so what? There are always like 20 people for dinner at my aunt and uncle's.

Little did I know.

I didn't clue on till there was a Seating Chart. And when I peered over my uncle's shoulder I noticed I was nowhere near my parents and D (my other uncle) where I normally locate myself. Grr... Then it dawns on me. I'm being set up! To meet someone! Thank goodness I had my happy shiny shoes on! I love them and they make me happy.

Remember that blog post from last week about my personal life being this out of control car that I am watching from a distance with vague interest? THIS exactly is the kind of thing I mean. Cause seriously, nothing like meeting someone for the first time with your parents sitting opposite you, his older sister sitting next to him and his nieces and my cousins looking on from one end of the table and my uncles and aunt from the other. What if you *did* hit it off? Worse, what if you hated them?

He was a very nice man, however. I did put him through the 10 Qn Interview though I don't think he noticed. I used my dad as Wing Man and I don't think he noticed either. Meh. I was bored and was stuck there for 3 hours, what else is a gal in shiny shoes to do? And the dish - he's a doctor working in pharmaceuticals, divorced and intelligent, broad interests, funny and well travelled. He was interested and listened and remembered things I had told him about me. I didn't notice *I* was getting a bit of the interview when he asked me if I travelled much with my job until on the way home when I got filled in on the reason his marriage didn't work out. (Also I quizzed my mother - did she KNOW, and she said she got a hint this afternoon and so was worried since I had been away all week that I might just throw on pink and red or something. What's wrong with pink and red?) Definite plus was - he lives in London and spends half the year in Paris. I could definitely live that life :)

But as awkward and a bit cringeworthy as it was ... they do this because they love me and they want me to be happy. And it's nice that they love me and want me to be happy.

Highlight of my evening though was when one of my aunt and uncle's friends - very important doctor person - said - I love your shoes!!! And I was like, OMG! These are my favourite new thing!! (Probably loses something in translation if you don't read this blog ...)


So as I was driving in this morning I realised that it's only 2 sleeps till Conflux!!!!!!! Cause I am taking the red eye out on Thursday night.

OMG!!! I totally thought I would be packed and ready and stuff and I still haven't decided on my dress for the banquet yet!

Very excited - like school camp but without the teachers and with wayyyy more alcohol!

*bounce bounce bounce*

Also ... am about to whack up some more prepaid options for books we are launching at Conflux as well as Scary Cookbook which I have just discovered has a limited run.

Yes you can take space in my suitcase coming home and have me shop for you. Just let me know. I feel a bit like that section in Pride and Prejudice where someone visits from London and the girls are all "but what of the fashions in London! Tell me about the dresses!!"


Oh man!

And now I have my pre-Con cough - benpayne, I really do get freaking sick right before cons! grrr. This is what happens when you go out amongst the people.


Scary Cookbook

The idea behind Scary Food was to produce a slim volume of stories and disgusting recipes featuring food that can only be described as horrific. Imagine a recipe called Zombie au Gratin and you’ll get the idea — though some of the recipes get worse than that and they’re not fiction! Paul Haines’ own stories veer toward the disgusting and so such a book seemed like a fitting project.

Here is the excellent cover designed by Cat Sparks:

The book will be launched and on sale at Conflux this weekend and I will bring the remainder, if there are any, back to Perth to sell at Wastelands II. However, there is a limited print run.

The book will sell for $20 and the entirety of sales will go straight to the Paul Haines' Fund through the awesome generosity of Cat Sparks. If you would like to prebuy your copy and pick it up in person at either of these cons or you want to buy a copy and bundle it into a purchase of either/and Angel Rising, Canterbury Tales 2100 or Creeping Reptile Flesh, click on the button below.

Purchase options within Australia

Please email me at girlie dot jones @ gmail dot com if you are overseas and want to purchase this book or if you want to change a purchase that you have already made for books available at Conflux.


Stock market free fall

Long time readers of this blog will know that I have a "thing" about the Holocaust. Whatever. Anyway, there's a bunch of things that will press buttons for me. And one of the things I always think about is the people who knew ahead of time that it was time to get out of Germany/Europe. So that there were two types of survivors - those who got out/hid/led resistance and those who made it through the camps. And I guess I always kind of think about how you would read the current affairs of your time and *know* that things were turning bad. How do you *know* when to cut and run?

My grandfather was out of Czechoslovakia taking a family friend's daughter to Israel and as he was making his return home, his father sent word not to come back, that things were going bad and that if he never heard from him again, to observe his death on a particular date (I wonder if my mother has that date somewhere?). Imagine getting that kind of a telegram from your father. Most of my grandfather's family, including his wife and two sons, died in the camps. One brother fought in the resistance, and was poisoned. Some of his family did get out though - I visited some in Israel in July. But when I was at Yad Vashem, D told me that my grandfather had worked out that he knew something like 90 or 120 people from his village who were killed in the camps/by the Nazis as they came through.

That's a bit depressing.

Anyway. It's backstory.

So I'm sitting there last night talking about the stockmarket crash and all the banks collapsing with my Dad and the doctor-guy. And I had this really surreal moment. We were in a room, packed with people around a table eating and drinking and celebrating the Rosh Hashanah and there we were discussing the state of the world and what we thought might happen next. How it affects the US Presidential campaign, how safe our money is etc etc. And contemplating the idea of suddenly losing everything. And I was thinking that this would be what it was like back in the 1920s/1930s when people were assessing what was going on in Germany and the war and how bad you thought things might go or what could happen. I know it was probably the shoes I was wearing, and also a little bit of an oldfashioned top, but if I squinted just a bit, and heard a Big Band type song playing in the background, it could have been 1932. It was really surreal.

Then I woke up today to hear that the US market has free fallen more than it did in the crash that caused the Depression.

And on the US Presidential race

So I know that McCain said he suspended his campaign ... but um, what did he actually do that was different? Will we know when it's unsuspended???

On Palin from below. And looks like the VP debate will be on Friday? I NEED to watch that!!! Wonder what time.

REPUBLICAN White House hopeful John McCain today defended his running mate Sarah Palin amid growing criticism of the vice-presidential nominee, telling supporters "she's going to be my partner in Washington".
Senator McCain devoted the beginning of his speech to praise Governor Palin, in the first rally since he announced the suspension of his campaign last week in response to the country's financial crisis.

"She's a bit of a maverick herself," Senator McCain told the rally in Columbus, Ohio. "She's going to be my partner in Washington. She's a leader and knows what it means to put country first."

Governor Palin has faced rising criticism in the press, including among conservative commentators, for avoiding the media over the last four weeks. The attacks have also expressed doubts about the Alaska governor's potential ability to serve as vice president.

Her Democratic counterpart, vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden, has given over a hundred interviews with national and local media since being nominated in late August.

Governor Palin has given three interviews, including her most recent interview with CBS News last week that has prompted calls, even among some former supporters, for her to step down as the nominee.

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker wrote this week that Governor "Palin is clearly out of her league" and called for her to leave the race.

Speaking at the Columbus rally alongside Senator McCain, Governor Palin said: "Here in Ohio, the high price of gas is making a full tank seem like a luxury."

She told Ohio supporters the McCain-Palin ticket would mine coal resources in the region, in contrast to their Democratic opponents.

Today, Governor Palin will travel from Columbus to Sedona, Arizona - where Senator McCain owns property - to prepare for the vice-presidential debate on Friday.



Awww!! I do love Boxers! And I miss mine - this one look almost exactly him ... *sniff*

A paternal dog has adopted an abandoned baby goat as his surrogate child.

Billy the boxer has become the constant companion of the 12-day old kid called Lilly. He sleeps with the goat, licks her clean, and protects her from any dangers at Pennywell Farm wildlife centre at Buckfastleigh, near Totnes, Devon

The kid was abandoned by her mother when she was only a few hours old and adopted by paternal Billy when his owner Elizabeth Tozer began hand rearing the goat.

The unusual bond has developed over the last month and the pair are now inseparable.

Elizabeth said: "Lilly follows Billy around which is really quite amusing to watch and Billy sleeps with the goat and cleans her mouth after she feeds."


Congratulations EVERYONE

So something TOTALLY awesome just happened to someone I was (virtually) standing next to and who is a really close friend! (Yay!) And then I realised all around me today, good things are happening to people I know!

So - a blanket WOOOOOOOOOT to everyone who received fantastic news or validation today!

Seems like it's a *really* good day today!

ETA And my boss just called and told me that he has sorted out my contract which means that yes, I do have to come in tomorrow. Dang!

Rosh Hashanah, Second Night

So I went to my parents for second night Yontev (Yiddish for "Good Day" and used to mean "Holy Day") and was just me, them and D. And the four of us were in a bit of a silly mood and much silliness prevailed. And, cause the day is a bit off kilter as previously mentioned, my Dad totally spat back tea into his cup cause of something funny that happened - I'm not sure I've ever seen him laughing that much before (he's mostly quite serious). And there was OMG the most biscuits you could ever imagine on one table at one time, after dinner. My parents spent the long weekend baking biscuits and strudel - like 6 different kinds and 3 batches of each or something. There were about nine large tupperware containers open for perusal. I think it was in memory of my grandmother who always baked fresh biscuits for Yontev. There's gonna be a lot of biscuits for a while though, methinks.

And that was Rosh Hashanah!

Next comes Yom Kippur.