My Life in Bulletpoint January 2014

Once again I have let this blog lapse – but in all honesty I think at this point it’s not so much an unfortunate habit but rather a stylistic element to the whole shebang. However I want to frame it… whatever you’ll get what you’re given and like it! (I read somewhere that abusing readers is the best way to get them to like you… or was it the other way around?)

Anyway! Time for a MY LIFE IN BULLETPOINT!

  • Work did NOT send me to Australia in the end – massive sad! Serious disappointment there, but on the flip side it did make me reconsider the work I am doing and why I am doing it. Very much it seems that the perks of this job (regular holidays time, access to fun apps and gadgetry, regular, reliable income) are really what keep me in it. The work itself edges too close to salesmanship at time and while I have not done any direct sales, there are some elements of the publishing industry that I find massively uncomfortable. This of course has led me to reconsider my career and…
  • I HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A SOUND DESIGNER! At the moment I am thinking for film, but certainly I am interested in game sound design for its interactive element. Yes! It sort of came to me over a period of a couple of weeks. I have hosted radio programs before, loved the hell out of creative radio shows like RadioLab and This American Life. I thought “ooh that’s for me!” but then I also wasn’t terribly interested in doing the reporting as I was in the architecture of sound that held it together. So I went cruising and found a wonderful blog – The Foley Diaries – and got in touch with Louise, the author. She currently works for a production company out of London, and I got in touch with her, and voila! I was sitting in for a week seeing how they edited sound together for this particular sci-fi film. It was GREAT and I want MORE which leaves me…
  • Currently practicing with software – Reaper (for the cheapness) – and scoping out useful handy recorders. At this stage I am all about reading and doing practice sound work – getting used to the editing software and getting my sense of my own workflow and best practice figured out. The idea being I’ll return to Australia in 7 months, get a full time job that I’m okay at, and then work on freelance sound design. Ideally it will hit a point where I can take on part time work and part time freelance sound, and then hopefully full-time freelancing and then YAY!
  • I have thought about doing a degree, but I know that for me personally all that will do is delay the start of me getting my shit together and doing sound for real. Also, I think freelance would be a great option for me because I tend to find I become complacent if I have to work 9-5 on something. I resent when things come onto my place outside of those hours, and then the hours drag. I want more control, and this seems like a great option. Also – no two days will be the same! Which will also be wonderful!
  • With the impending return to Australia will also come the impending switch of roller derby leagues – I have to say that I am quite nervous. Mainly because the comparison criteria will shift. I know the league I am involved with now are quite serious business, and I am bottom of the pile at this stage – but will I be better in 7 months? I’d love to start bouting properly and perhaps be able to justify an $800 set of skates!
  • I BOUGHT A BIKE! Yes yes I did. It was a total impulse, 100% but I still have a chance to not regret it! Over the next 6 months I will spend upward of £800 on my monthly travelcard. The bike cost £50. Getting into good nick will cost maybe £50-£80 on top of that. If I can cut my travel costs by £50 a month, then that means I can save an extra £300 by the time I go to Vegas, and on top of that I will get really fit because I’ll be cycling over an hour a day, most days of the week. Wahoo! Also my bike is beautiful (photo is full of “ghosts” but you get the idea).


  • This January, as well as riding my bike, going to training, and then going to derby-specific fitness sessions, I am also cranking the paleo lifestyle back on track. I am not drinking this month, and sticking to paleo is my goal! I have had a pretty good 2.5 days so far! As well as discovering a mean breakfast frittata recipe involving canned salmon and avocado. Absolutely nomtastic. Right now I am craving some jerky…
  • Currently saving to get my butt to Iceland for a wonderful holiday with Jesse, and then saving to get my butt to Vegas and then on to Australia by early August.

I didn’t quite realise how much I had going on until I wrote it all down here: holy moly. I hope to share some of my go-to paleo recipes here soon, and fingers crossed the cycling gets on a roll. HA! Really… that was awful.



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Happy Accidents in 3D Printing

When my family got our first digital camera way back in late 90s or so, I thought it was the coolest thing in the universe. Being able to view and delete and print pictures immediately? Wow! There couldn’t have been anything better! I was too young to have any real understanding of film cameras vs digital so I didn’t think much about the bigger, social or experiential changes that came with the shift from analogue to digital creation. One thing I do remember from those days, however, was my dad mentioning that with digital cameras it was the end of the “happy snap” – the accidental photo taken of a perfect moment by a friend or a child that just magically appeared in the stack of photos when you collected them from the printer.

Indeed the lack of “soul”, “personality” or just these little magic moments is what a lot of people bemoan as the real let down of digital technology. For all the songs we can cram onto our mp3 players, films on our hard drives, or the gigs and gigs of unmanageable digital photos we take, we can’t deny that digital formats are loss formats. I won’t go into any real technical detail but consider the analogy that you have drawn a line with pencil, and then had to make the same line but only with dots. The drawn line with pencil is lossless – the line will always be connected, no matter how far you “zoom” into it. To recreate it with dots there will always be gaps – losses. You can create the illusion of completeness by using lots and lots of dots but in the end you can zoom in and see gaps. Analogue is a line, digital is dots. This is why mp3s sound worse than CDs, and CDs sound worse than records. We’re going from a few dots, to plenty of dots, down to no dots… only a line.

I do have a point to make and that point is that despite the advent of digital technology, the happy accident is not lost. I just now discovered the flickr group – The Art of 3D Print Failure – and it contains some fantastic “happy snap” creations which have come about from attempts to wedge the digital back into an analogue shape. We’re all familiar with the experience of a printer just going rogue on us – well you can now get that experience (like everything) in 3D!


3D Print Fail by fredini –

A lot of the images in the group are all rights reserved so I haven’t copied them in here – but do go check it out. I will always be fascinated in the dialogue between the analogue and digital media, and I see these fuck-ups as the collision of those two values entirely.

I’m out!


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My Life in Bulletpoint August 2013 Edition

Like most blog people or people with blogs (sounds like a medical condition – it may as well be because it feels pretty chronic) I get well behind on my postings and hardly ever live up to the blog-related goals I set for myself. As a result I have gotten into the habit of following up every lapse with a “My Life in Bulletpoint” post… and here is the August 2013 installment!

  • In about a week it will be the 1 year anniversary of my departure from Australia to come stay in England. I have one year left where I can live and work in this country. And holy hell has so much happened and time passed so quickly!
  • My dad and brother came to visit at the end of June, we drank Scotch, played cribbage, ate some delicious sushi, had an amazing wankery afternoon tea at the Dorchester, drank wine, visited my aunt in Bicester, and then suddenly they were on the other side of the train door as we pulled out from the tube station and that was that. Weepy Liza.
  • Thankfully that experience was quickly followed by GLASTONBURY 2013 which was the best thing I have ever decided to do ever! Best. Festival. Ever. That’s a blog post idea. Talk about that fo-shnizzle.
  • I am now a full member of the London Rollergirls Recreational League! I’m waiting on my name to be approved and then I plan to score myself some sweet merch. I am having an amazing time working on my derby skillz, getting to know some of the best people I’d have ever hoped to meet, and – let’s not lie – getting a wicked thigh workout twice a week. It seems only yesterday that I signed up to the LRG intake.
  • My job has turned out to be a fucking godsend. In the last year I have scored £6000 in raises, plus every three months I get a cool couple hundred in bonuses. Yay!
  • As a result of the raises and such I can now afford my trip to Iceland in March! Also planning to go back to Australia via the United States at the end of July. Stopping – of course – in Las Vegas for ROLLERCON 2014!
  • Speaking of Australia, my job involves working with a client based in Sydney who may need to be paid a visit soon and I may or may not have been asked to be that person (shh potential work-sponsored trips home cannot involve the getting up of too-high hopes).
  • I am TRYING still to get on top of the diet thing. I posted earlier about paleo/primal and I love it though the effort involved to maintain it can be tiresome and I have – particularly when drunk – thought “fuck it, I NEED that frozen pizza from the convenient store around the corner”. Shoulda known though – I burned my hand getting it out of the oven which I took to be some sort of cosmic slap on the wrist for being so cheeky.
  • I’ve discovered I won’t get better at derby without some outside gym work. So that’s starting again at the end of August. Yo free weights! Tempted to do a Cross Fit sesh near me but it’s so expensive. I really miss my Bikram Yoga!
  • Jesse is working at a metal bar in Soho 3 nights a week which allows each of us some pretty awesome down time – and I get cheap drinks! Though when I go there I am pretty much guaranteed not to leave until 6am. Where the hell did this party animal come from?
  • I am getting into zombies. Which is good because I had nightmares about them right up until May this year. Now I’m reading World War Z, and have also bought a ticket for 2.8 Hour Later in October. I see it as my version of holding a spider, or taking a bath in cockroaches. Except when the spiders bite you you turn into a spider.
  • HOW HAVE I NOT GOTTEN MORE INTO ADVENTURE TIME? This song is stuck in my head… I think permanently now:

Oh and this one…

And I think that will do for now. Smooshes.


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The only way is bacon – my primal/paleo adventure

It started with a vacuum-sealed pack containing two large pieces of peppered mackerel.

One day, about a year ago, I went to visit my boyfriend’s family. His brother, sister, and mother were all CrossFit junkies at this point. And his sister, who suffered from a number of auto-immunity problems, had taken up the advice to cut grain from her diet. In support and with a “hey, couldn’t hurt” attitude, the family cut all grain from their diet. Me, meanwhile, continued to eat my spaghetti on toast.

Fast forward a few months, and my boyfriend’s mum has dropped around four dress sizes. His sister is competing in CrossFit competitions and has never felt better. His brother – having always been ridiculously fit – was getting involved in Tough Mudder competitions. Me, meanwhile, continued to eat frozen meat pies.

Fast forward another few months and suddenly I live in London. Very much living a similar way – with cheesy pasta sauces (even though I’m lactose intolerant) and other grain-heavy meals (even though I don’t do enough exercise to warrant that many carbs). I’d plough through 3 or 4 coffees a day (with milk – which makes me sneezey and queesy) just to combat the 3:30pm energy crash which I knew was coming. I’d spend half an hour literally nodding off and on at my desk. At the time I thought nothing of it, everyone talks about the 3pm crash – it’s even part of an Cup-a-Soup advertising campaign:

But I had started to do some reading – because obviously I had seen some real changes come about in my family after they ditched grains. I didn’t have the balls to give it a go, but I read widely. Mark’s Daily Apple was and continues to be a great source of advice and information about the Primal Blueprint (similar to the paleo diet in that they both abstain from grains, legumes and polyunsaturated fat sources, but much more lenient when it comes to dairy). I bought and read Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution, and cruised Nom Nom Paleo for delicious recipes. I am a foodie – so the most terrifying part of this whole experience was wondering if the food was going to be any good! From these sources I realised that I am actually in a fair bit of danger following modern food habits. In my immediate family we have late-onset diabetes and heart disease. In the extended family (including my grandparents) there is bowel cancer, IBS, stroke, and heart attack. All of these diseases are lifestyle diseases and all of them – if you follow the research of Robb Wold, Mark Sisson, and Loren Cordain – become more likely on a diet that contains high levels of grain, legume, polyunsaturated fats, and (if you’re sensitive to it) dairy. I had started amassing a huge number of pins on my Pinterest board “Adventures in Grain Aversion”. My interest in paleo had reached capacity.

I had been pottering around this ethnic foods supermarket near my house – which coincidentally stocks paleo staples like coconut oil and almond meal by the truckload – when I picked up this pack of mackerel. I didn’t think much of it really – maybe that I’d shred it up and mix it in with a salad for work lunch. I went home and reheated some cheesy pasta.

The next morning I wandered down to the kitchen, getting ready to toast myself some bread (not paleo), spread it with margarine (SO not paleo), vegemite (eh… probably be fine), and melt cheese on the top (I’m the anti-paleo at this point). I opened the fridge and there sat the mackerel. Ready to eat, cold out of the pack. I tentatively grabbed it and peeled it open. With a fork I shredded a little piece of flesh back, and gently put it in my mouth. It was tasty! Before I realised what had happened I had eaten a whole fillet. I washed my hands, grabbed an apple, and gleefully munched it on the way to the train. I was quite smug with my ability to have a paleo-friendly breakfast.

I didn’t think much of the rest of the day. Working away, I looked at the clock. It was 4pm. I’m meant to go for lunch at 1pm – I had managed to go most of a day without eating when usually I had have been gunning for lunch at 11:30! There’s no way it could have gotten to 4pm without me falling asleep on my keyboard. It was then that I realised I had to give this no grain business a good shot. Two weeks later, at about 95% paleo, I felt amazing, My housemates had even commented that I had lost weight (in two weeks?!). There was no “food baby” type bloating after meals, I slept like a log, no 3pm crash, and – amazingly – I just never felt really hungry. It feels amazing.

And it started with a mackerel.


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TGEP: Making it Quirk – Finding my style

A while ago I started this thing called the Great Eliza Project – an effort to really grab a hold of my style, my health, my attitude. In all honesty, it has been more or less a fizzle. I write a post occasionally about it (see my chromatic exploration of Tuk Shoes and Lime Crime lippies, or my fixation on capes),  or I vaguely remember that I have this thing going on… but I never really take steps to do anything about it.

eliza project banner

Lately, however, with the prospect of a more visual role with my company on the horizon, I have been pondering the style question more than ever. How should I present myself? Of course the idea of sweaters, button down blouses, “staple” trousers, and sensible low heels come to mind – but I can’t bring myself to be resigned to the world of black, navy, white, brown and beige just yet. I don’t want to live in a world where a turquoise handbag in the office makes you the local Björk… and I love Björk!

The easiest way to start to find your personal style is to start paying attention to things that you like, and try to nail down why you like them. What do they have in common. Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project”, kept a notebook on her and noted down topics that interested her as she came across them in her day. Not only did this make her pay attention to things happening around her, but she stumbled across topics that she thought about often, but never realised that she was actually interested in!

This makes me think of my attitude towards personal style. I’ll often be out and about, looking at the outfits around me thinking “I love that!” or “that doesn’t quite work… but I can see what you are doing” all the way to “oh wow… did you mean for that to happen?”.  But what I am not asking is “what is it about that outfit that really tickles me?”. It’s beyond the question of “I need platform runners because she makes platform runners look cool”, and more towards “can I make platform runners work for me?”. In the case of platform runners – no. They won’t work. But I have discovered some similarities between the clothes I see on people, and styles that I can’t look away from. And this, is quirk.

I love when convention collides violently and brightly with the unexpected. And I want to wear that. In the sense of my work clothes – I want to have classic cuts in wild prints, bright jewellery in traditional designs. Shoes that are well made, but draw the eye like giraffes mating. Love it or hate it, you aren’t looking away. That’s quirk…

I’ve been writing this as more or less a train of consciousness thing and it seems that I just nailed my personal fashion style down as “giraffes humping”.

I’d much rather call it – “making it quirk”. And I’d like to take the rest of this post to show a few examples of what I mean… or really, what I am loving at the moment.

These fantastic AT-AT walker tights from Black Milk Clothing:

AT-AT walker leggings from Black Milk Clothing

These baguette and brie earrings from One Elf’s store on Etsy (I already have the avocados, and the toasted cheese sandwiches!

Brie and Baguette earrings from One Elf on Etsy

This leather-bow handbag care of Alex Takes a Trip:

Bow leather bag from Alice Takes a Trip

This print and dress cut from Joy online:

These paisley palazzos thanks to Joy online:

paisley palazzo pant Joy online

This awesome Pac-man ring set from Jelly Button Jewellery:

This adorable cat-eye glasses necklace from Jelly Button Jewellery:

cat's eyes glasses jelly button jewellery

These Irregular Choice shoes:
Irregular choice shoesAnd these ones too:

irregular choice miaow boots

This fancy pants sausage-dog bag by Kate Gary:

Kate Garey Sausage Dog Bag

This fox brooch, also a Kate Garey creation:

The next challenge? Forcing myself to actually buy and wear this stuff. I love it, I love to look at it but at the end of the day it can be “easier” to go safe… but I don’t have time to go safe! I want to start expressing myself now! I’m going to… (wait for it)… make it quirk!


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Juvenile Cuisine (or – The weird ass crap I used to eat as a kid)

This evening as I wandered home from work with 76p in my wallet I pondered what the hell was I going to manage to pick up for dinner. I had bread at home… maybe a sandwich? Then I remembered the the jar of delicious whole-egg mayonnaise in the fridge and thought “hmmm… fresh tomato… maybe it’s time for a flash back.”

76p worth of tomato later I was back home, and ladling thick layers of egg mayo onto my slightly warm bread (artfully nuked out of cryo-freeze by yours truly), and topping it with thick slices of fat vine-ripened tomato. One squishy bite later, through the haze of creamy mayo and tangy toms I thought “this takes me back…”. And take me back it did, to a time when I ate this every day after school. Often two of them. Cut in half (RECTANGLE-WISE-OF-COURSE-YOU-HEATHENS!) with a whole tomato on each. Of course, the egg mayo is a later addition – the amount of mayo I consumed in those days meant that mum opted for the lower-fat mayos. I have no idea how long this lasted but it was long enough for it to become “the way” I ate. But it must have only lasted so long because I don’t really do it anymore, and there must have been a time before it was “the way” because I can remember quite a few other “ways” with food in my childhood. And I’d like to share them with you:

Microwaved Fried Eggs c. 1997-1998

In hindsight I have no idea how I managed to eat these for so long. It’s actually a bit gross to think about now. Anyway, read on to see just how much of a crime you can commit upon an egg.


  • 1 egg
  • bread
  • tomato sauce


Grab a tea saucer, and put a shallow layer of cold water in the bottom. Apologise to the egg, and then crack it into the water-filled saucer. Cover the egg with cling wrap (Glad wrap, cling film, whatever). Poke a few holes in the cling film with a fork. Put the saucer in the microwave and microwave for about 40 seconds (all the while frantically crossing yourself in order to prevent the portal to hell you just opened from spewing a bunch of demon chickens into your breakfast nook). You’ll know it’s done when the white of the egg has turned to slimy marshmallow and the yolk resembles one of those super-bouncy rubber balls. Slop the gooey tongue of egg onto an over-microwaved-but-still-somehow-frozen-round-the-edge piece of white bread and DROWN THAT MO-FO IN TOMATO SAUCE. Eat it, don’t wash your hands, and then go smear tomato saucy eggy fingers all over your Barbie collection until the salty, sticky film coats them all and the storage crate fills with ants… not that this happened ever.

SPC Spaghetti and Toast c.2003-2009

Holy hell for adolescent metabolisms right? I think there was 3 serves of spaghetti in this can, and I’d have two chunky pieces of toast along with it. This is so far from what I would choose to eat these days it give me whiplash to think about.


  • 1 400g tin of SPC Spaghetti (Cheese & Tomato)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 2 slices soy & linseed bread
  • 2 tsp butter


Snap a fingernail on the ring pull of the can, and then use a fork to lever it up instead and open the fucker. Empty the spaghetti into a microwave Tupperware container (specifically Tupperware… my mother wouldn’t have had it any other way). Then, top with the grated cheese. Put the lid on the container, pop the microwave–steam-escape-hatch, and bung it in the microwave for 90 seconds. We also had a 1:30 minute setting but I found that 90 seconds worked better. Don’t judge me.



Pop the bread in the toaster, and hit go. If we’ve played our cards right, the toast will pop just as the microwave ends, giving you just enough time to lather the butter on the toast, and chop it into soldiers with one hand and ninja-stir the cheese into the spaghetti with the other. Using the handy-dandy handle on your Tupperware, balance the plate of toast on top,  suction-cup a glass of coke to your face, and plonk down on your corner lounge, in front of the N64 and dual VCR/DVD player and watch Shrek. Done!

Microwaved Meat Pies c.1998-2012

Clearly I found the microwave to be my best friend in the universe, along with tomatoes or their saucy equivalent. I would still do these pies if only I could actually find the right brand in the UK *fist shake*


  • 2 Four’n’Twenty frozen beef pies
  • tomato sauce


Using a fucking crowbar, dislodge the pack of pies from the bottom of the chest freezer in the garage. Carry the frozen blocks to the kitchen, taking care to develop chilblains on your thumbs. Bash the pies furiously against the counter until they detach from one another, and then wrap each pie in 2 piece-long length of paper towel, leaving the ends open. I even did a diagram:

piePop the whole lot in the microwave and nuke for about 4:30 minutes until the outside is too hot to eat, but the inside is still cold but at least it’s not frozen. Tug out of the microwave and onto a place, remove paper towel, and inject one pie with sauce by wedging the nozzle in the top. With the other pie, get a hacksaw and grind the top off of it before drowning it too in sauce. Use the removed pie lid as an edible spoon. Get impatient and eat the other pie with one hand. Don’t forget to burn your mouth on the hot filling, and crack a tooth on the now cement-hard outer pastry. This dish goes perfectly with coke, The Vicar of Dibley, or Super Simpsons Saturdays on Foxtel.

Hopefully this trip into my culinary skeleton-filled closet will raise appreciation for my current culinary skills. I’m no Jamie Oliver but at least now I don’t disrespect eggs.

Long live the tomato and mayo sandwich.


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Roller Derby Reads – Some blogs you should read if you like to strap wheels to your feet

One of the wonderful side-effects of getting involved with a roller derby league is the amazing people you meet, who then add you on Facebook, and who then start sharing posts from roller derby blogs I had never heard of! If you’re at all interested in listening to the ramblings of players, the nerd-heaving jargon-bin that is gear reviews, or go a bit deeper into what this whole derby thing is, then see below for my favourite derby-related blogs.

Call the Jam – Reflections on Roller Derby

Vivi Section from the Circle City Derby Girls is an editor and writer in Indianapolis, and her blog shows her skills. Her posts are really well-written and touch on topics that pop into the brain of every derby girl whether you’re the freshest of the fresh meat (see her “Letter to a Young Derbyist”), going through injury (see “Sometimes Derby Hurts”), or musing about age, challenges, and the weird and wonderful things derby can bring into your life. If you only read one of my blog recommendations, make it this one.

You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Loose Wheel

Elektra Q-Tion with the Carolina Rollergirls has a great voice through her blog and has delightful drawings to go along with it. She has a Derby Humor page with a whole bunch of cartoons including phrenology-style breakdowns of the Mind of a Derby Girl, the Mind of a Derby Ref, and the Mind of a Derby Coach. She also goes deeper, and talk about the clique phenomenon in derby leagues and what to do about it, advise for fresh meat, and advise on picking a roller derby name. I started poking around on this blog and then found that suddenly two hours had passed and I had spent most of it giggling at lipstick-wearing zebra referees.

Kamikaze Kitten, London Rollergirls, is the most baddass jammer I have ever seen. I have had the privelage to see her in the LRG Intraleague competition where she skates for the Suffra Jets, and then recently at Anarchy III where she jammed for London against the Windy City Rollers. Of course, being fresh meat with the LRG and seeing Kami kick butt means that I am all gooey and starstruck and hence – a big fan of her blog! The blog has got some great skills basics, complete with photos, for examples her “Anatomy of…” series goes through the basic stops and points out where your balance should be, how your weight should shift, and all with great marked-up photos. She also has deeper posts – I especially enjoyed her “Trials and Tribulations of Intraleague“. As a freshie it’s a fascinating peep into the world that I hope to be a part of someday.

*Sigh* and now I have to tear myself away from the blogs and get back to work. Tonight I have free skate derby practice though! And tomorrow I go to Paris! So it’s not all that bad.



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