Thursday, August 25, 2011

About the lack of posting...

Although few of you read this, I'm going to explain my absence that we're in the throes of, and that we will be in for the next couple of months.

I have no Internet beyond what's on my phone, and I haven't had it for a little while now. However, I stumbled upon this awesome concept called tethering. How fun is tethering! I said to myself as I expertly surfed the net at pretty fast speeds. I will tether forever!

Then Optus sent me not one, but two, $500-600 bills (because I apparently do not learn).

I have learnt my lesson now, and thus will be sticking to le Fachebook (gosh darn it, Voldy) and Twitter via their apps. Apparently, that's free.

So sayonara for the next while, sans a few reviews from time to time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hey, remember that time I said I'd do the truths posts?

I lied. Well, not really lied. I'm doing them all in one hit now. I might go and do that 30 Days one at some stage, but I found this one courtesy of the lovely Belinda on Facebook. (As a result, I'm going to have to find another quiz to earn Binda's forgiveness again for this theft.)

Away we go into the abyss of truthtellingandwhatnot!

1. Last beverage: Some disgusting concoction with lemon and sugar. It didn't go down to well. 
2. Last phone call: The chocolate-making school my parents want to go to when we visit Melbourne. Conversation as follows:
"Hey, I'm from [school], I received your booking last night and have a few things to discuss with you all."
"... I have no idea what you're talking about."
3. Last text message: Sent - to Nick, about some funky funding thing for gamers. Received - Dad, about when the bed they're trying to get rid of left the house.
4. Last song you listened to: Would be out of Coldplay, 'Hurts Like Heaven', or 'Salaam Namaste' or 'What's Going On', both from the Salaam Namaste soundtrack.

6. Dated someone twice: Nope.
7. Been cheated on: I have presented no opportunity for this to occur.
8. Kissed someone & regretted it: Nope.
9. Lost someone special: Yes, most definitely, and it sucked.
10. Been depressed: See the majority of my teenage years.
11. Been drunk and threw up: Oh lulz. I have not.

12. Red
13. Black
14. White

15. Made a new friend: Yessir, yessir.
16. Fallen out of love: I believe not.
17. Laughed until you cried: Oh yes. So many times. 
18. Met someone who changed you: It happens, yep. Sometimes it's not very pleasant. Grr to those unpleasant ones.
19. Found out who your true friends were: Yes. It was not pretty. (Wait, lies. It was pretty sometimes.)
20. Found out someone was talking about you: HAHAHAHAHAHA. It's life, of course that happens. 
21. Kissed anyone on your fb friend's list: Nope.

22. How many people on your fb friends list do you know in real life: All but two, I believe.
23. Favourite band: Coldplay.
24. Do you have any pets: Two dogs. They make life interesting. 
25. Do you want to change your name: I've always been fascinated with those coming of age ceremonies where your name gets changed, marking your new life as an adult. If that were to happen, I would be Natalia. Similar enough to my own name, but sounds slightly more classy.
26. What did you do for your last birthday: Ran around Brisbane.
27. What time did you wake up today: 8am, I think.
28. What were you doing at midnight last night: DANCING!
29. Name something you CANNOT wait for: Next year. Or, as Binda phrased it, life in general.
30. Last time you saw your Mother: Last night.
31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life? My tendency to make stupid decisions.
32. What are you listening to right now: The dulcet tones of Offspring Season 1, Episode 2. DEAR WORLD THE SECOND SEASON IS OUT NEXT MONTH
33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom: Oh wow. I don't think so, or at least not in a while.
34. What's getting on your nerves right now: Darn cramps. I hate your face.  
35. Most visited webpage: Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail. Also, varying Tumblrs.
36. Whats your real name: Natasha Carolina Pavez. Carolina is Caroleenah.
37. Relationship Status: Single, baby.
39. Zodiac sign: Aries. We do things with style.
40. Male or female? Female.  
41. Elementary? Was awesome.
42. High School/College: Was painful.
43. Uni/College: Was awesome, and at QUT.
44. Hair colour: Brown.
45. Long or short: Long by my standards.
46. Height: The exact same height as Reese Witherspoon. Same birthday, too. Kooky.
47. Do you have a crush on someone? Creepily, yes. How do you know these things?
48: What do you like about yourself? I know how to write and draw, and my eyes make me happy.
49. Piercings: Earlobes, and a small puncture wound where that stupid dog decided to bite me yesterday for ignoring her. I might put a stud there to make it seem less attackish, more stylish.
50. Tattoos: I fainted when I accidentally got a cut from a dog. Tattoos are not high on my priority list.
51. Righty or lefty: Right!

52. First surgery: I'm sure there was something around the time of my premmie birth. Or maybe not! I do recall an endoscopy. That was fun, being drugged... I shouldn't say things like that, you'll lock me up.
53. First piercing: Ears
54. First best friend: Alyssa.
55. First sport you joined: Cricket. UGH WHY
56. First vacation: Uh... "I don't even remember five minutes ago. Back to your skulking."
57. First Pet: Inca. She doesn't bite.
58. First pair of trainers: Were cute. Mum has a photo of me wearing them. 

59. Eating: Cookies.
60. Drinking: Water.
61. I'm about to: start making dinner.
62. Listening to: Nina's ringtone on Offspring.
63. Waiting on: life.

64. Want kids? Yup, they will hopefully be awesome.
65. Get Married? Please.
66. Career? WRITERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRrrr *ahem*

67. Lips or eyes: Eyes.
68. Hugs or kisses: Hugs.
69. Shorter or taller: Taller. I don't think I could find anyone shorter than me.
70. Older or Younger: Around about the same age as me.
71. Romantic or spontaneous: I have not experienced either.
72. Nice stomach or nice arms: Due to Ryan Reynolds, I'm going to have to admit to my sad abs obsession and say stomach.
73. Sensitive or loud: *shrugs*
74. Hook-up or relationship: Relationship. 
75. Trouble maker or hesitant: *shrugs*

76. Kissed a stranger: Nah.
77. Drank hard liquor: I believe not, as I don't drink.
78. Lost glasses/contacts: Glasses, many a time.
79. Had sex on first date: Nope.
80. Broken someone's heart: I highly doubt it.  
81. Had your own heart broken: If I said yes, it'd be too dramatic for what really happened. Let's just say my heart fell over and skinned its knees.
82. Been arrested: Nope. Taaame.
83. Turned someone down: Yes.  
84. Cried when someone died: I think I exhausted my tear ducts.
85. Fallen for a friend? He wasn't really a friend-friend, so no. He was sort of in my group of friends, but not technically. BABBLE.

86. Yourself: At times.
87. Miracles: Yesh indeedly. God does a daily one with me.
88. Love at first sight: Oh, there are so many things going either way. I would say definite interest can be formed.  
89. Heaven: Heck yes.
90. Santa Claus: Nah.
91. Kiss on the first date: Cannot accurately say either way.
92. Angels: Of course.

94. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at a time: Not a snowball's chance in the nether regions of hell.
95. Did you sing today? Mimed into a microphone. I'm so eighties.
96. Ever cheated on somebody? That's just cruel and cheap.
97. If you could go back in time, how far would you go? Jane Austen Era, or the fifties, or pioneering era. Perhaps even way back to Roman times. 
98. If you could pick a day from last year 2010 and relive it, what would it be: Stanfield's Cookie Bonfire.
99. Are you afraid of falling in love? I suspect yes.
100. Posting this as 100 truths? NO! HAHA!

Wordless Wednesday (the third)

Yes, I get that it's words. But they're in a picture. *looks hopeful*
Okay, this Wednesday's a fail. Shusssh.
Also, I apologise. Darn Blogger failed at uploading last night.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 25.

[A character you can relate to the most.]

I want a Jacob. *This* Jacob, not a Pedowolf Jacob.
Josephine Alibrandi, of Looking for Alibrandi fame, was always going to win this one. I don't think I've ever identified with a character so much. I saw the film of this book first (doesn't begin to do it justice) and thought, "Huh. Her family's sorta like mine, except they speak Italian."
Read the book, and Josie was exactly who my fourteen year old self longed to be when I hit eighteen. And re-reading the book as I did when I was eighteen, I think I'm far too close to there. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

The cultural issues - who am I? "Technically," Josie says at one point to a fellow student, a typical Anglo, "I'm older than you are, and I was born here. If anyone's the New Australian, it's you."
I laughed so much at that line, and tucked it in my mind for future use.
Knowing where you come from is an interesting thing. So interesting, they make a point of asking it of you on a Census. "What's your cultural background? Where were your parents born?" I'm partly Chilean, partly English and Welsh, wholly Australian. And for Josie, I suspect her cultural makeup was much the same - that despite the roots, what mattered was the Australian part. Yet you can't really run from those roots; they'll hold you as tight as they can. In high school, identifying myself was hard - I wanted to run to Chile and see if I fit. I wanted to escape here, because in my family - an eighties-clad version of Chile, clashing with Australia - I didn't fit. I was too white. At school, it wasn't huge as some kids would get, but I was told that there was a difference between my life and everyone else's. No one else would bring sopapillas or empanadas to school, or carry massive flasks of green tea with a strange combination of herbs that Nana would subtly ask Mary to bless before she slipped them in my Thermos. (She knew how I felt about Mary.) Other kids' fathers didn't have accents like mine supposedly did.
And Josie Alibrandi was the same.
Crazy nonna (seriously, are hers and mine the same woman?!) and traditions that aren't practised at all in the home country. Rules, so many rules, that other people just don't get.

The way Josie navigated her life was how I imagine I'd do it, and not out of my old desire to emulate her. It's because Josie was a real character - or at least, very real to me. There'd be the ups, and the downs, and the walking around for forty years in the desert because you're trying to figure out what the heck you're supposed to do. 
And the eyeroll. My mother probably thought I was possessed,
I did this so much.
And at the end, acceptance. Because no matter what you do, your heritage won't change. She and I aren't defined by that, but enhanced by that.
And we also come up with lines that in hindsight make you facepalm. "Don't say that! You're not an idiot, you idiot!"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 24.

[A book you wish more people would have read.]

I'm sure many people have read this book, but in my group of friends I'm the only one who has. When I've presented this book to them, they react with blank stares. And perhaps by also backing away slowly, lest they scare Crazy Book Lady.

I told you I'd do a post about this. Not when
I said I would, but I figured this would fit better.
This book is, to put it mildly, abso-flipping-lutely, mind-blowingly awesome.

The story takes place in a country called Opium. Like the name suggests, this country makes its revenue by farming and exporting opium. It is situated between the US and Mexico (now called Aztlan), and is run by Matteo Alacran Sr (who is about 140 years old, give or take). It gains its workers in the poppyfields by capturing illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border either way. These immigrants are implanted with a computer chip, which renders them zombie-like and only able to do what they are told to do - so, farm until they're told to stop - eejits, in the book. As a result, El Patron (Matteo Alacran Sr) has a pretty good system going on, and won't get investigated by authorities either side of him due to their immigrant agreement.
It's not only the drug shenanigans that could theoretically get El Patron iced - he also harvests clones. And so enters our protagonist, Matteo Alacran Jr.

Matt's age varies throughout the book, but his purpose in being cloned is to provide organs for El Patron. Because, you know, that's how you survive if you're a crazy drug lord/dictator - you clone yourself, and kill them off to harvest new organs for yourself. Matt, however, has survived out of some creepy memory that El Patron had (he had some vast amount of siblings, all died but him - Matt was supposed to receive the life his siblings did not). Matt is treated cruelly due to his status as a clone, yet he possesses an unbelievably kind nature. He has a rather many few adventures - I won't go into them here, because you need to read this book and discover them for yourself.

Nancy Farmer deserves all the accolades that have been bestowed on this novel, and then some. Go to your local library, support a bookstore, do whatever it takes to get your paws on this book. You won't regret it whatsoever. The storyline is as engrossing as anything I've read, she deals with some very thought provoking issues, and her characters are fleshed out to the point where I wanted to leap into the pages and hug Matt, see his tattoo, explore El Patron's house and Celia and Matt's hut.

Ay, I love this book massively. Unfortunately I don't own it. (Will accept any gifts.)