Friday, February 29, 2008

leap day

Google has a leaping frog where the "l" should be.

A couple of my colleagues at uni told me this is the one day of the year when girls can ask out blokes (and *gasp* even ask for the bloke's hand in marriage!). Which seems rather sad and I don't know if it's even true or they are just pulling the leg of the furriner.

In any case, let's take it as a slightly odd traditional (if not tribal) custom and, in the spirit of the day dear readers, take this as an open invite to join me whenever you are in my part of the world. You will, almost certainly, not have a good time. I hate good times as much as I hate the idea of good. Or time. I actually think I don't much like time.

Where was I? Time. Of course. Did anyone else see the episode of Lost yesterday when Desmond (and who knew a haircut and the addition of a long, Tom Baker-y scarf would make Des oh-so-fanciable, eh?) time travelled?

Wait--oh, yes, good time. No, that will probably not be on the agenda. At all. But I've almost perfected the interested nodding and the encouraging hums so don't be discouraged. I can hold up my end of a conversation. Or, if more than one of yous were to want to join me, I can hold up various conversations.

As noted here. I can hold various conversations at the same time. Right. Invite. Whenever yous are in town. Drop me a line.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I have no interesting excuse. Except for being asleep for most of the past two weeks. I blame the crippling bout of flu. Also: laziness.

I've made a discovery this week. Which is not quite a discovery, and more like a realization. And it's very profound.

The smell of fresh shitake mushrooms is possibly my favorite smell in the entire world. I have a small amount of them sitting in front of me (for the purposes of writing about them! Not because I am a weirdo who sits in front of her computer with a bag of mushrooms. At least not that kind of mushroom. Though I used to love to come into the kitchen and take a deep whiff of sesame oil. Apparently, if I were less high-strung and neurotic, I would be a huffer. Huh.).

I do not enjoy the smell of shitake mushrooms when they are dried, or even when they're cooked, though I do enjoy eating them. But when they're fresh and tender and moist and plump, they emanate this truly lovely smell, which is kind of like fresh bread, soil...and I don't know. Sort of a baby smell. While I don't want to eat a baby, there's something pure and sweet and kind of innocent about the scent. I want my shampoo to smell like this.

This is a reminder to take the time and smell the mushrooms more often.

Or something.


So, dear reader(s), you may have thought Fanny and I forgot about you. You may have thought that you've invested time and effort in getting to know us (and not in a The King and I sort of way) and we, cruelly and capriciously, abandoned you as we flitted off into places of wonder and glee. You may have thought we thoughtlessly didn't provide you with details as to what we were about to do and then teased and tantalised you by posting a few lines about homesickness and beach resorts on the other side of the world.

We don't want resorts, you say. We want you to come back online and write about life, love, leering (at the stats instructor who just happens to be about 7-feet tall and have a Southern accent) and lame (with an ' but I can't seem to figure out how to do that) leggings. Well, maybe not the last since Fanny would never be seen dead in such gear and even I draw the line somewhere. Though I did buy striped, cat-in-the-hattish stockings last week.

Where was I? Oh, right, with you. I was writing about what you thought about blogs and blogging. More specifically, what you thought about Fanny and I's mysterious disappearance from this site. So far, you've read your way here and thought, "hmm...she's surprisingly spot on. I wonder how she knows". Well, I know because I was also waiting. I was waiting for inspiration to strike. I was waiting and wondering whether I should post about the book that I won in an online contest (my first-ever win at anything) or whether I should post about still wanting to run away during spring break and visit Fanny or whether I should post about the reasons I rather like James McAvoy or why I've put off buying my airplane ticket to San Francisco even though I'm supposed to be there from 25-30 March. I was waiting...

While waiting I texted/emailed Fanny and we talked about the blog. Neither of us actually posted you notice but we did talk about it. Does that count, dear reader(s)? Does that count as being aware of your existence and even, perhaps, caring about what you were thinking? Proabably not. After all, yous were not to know what we were doing.

But, here I am. Back. Writing. You might well say, "but this is drivel. You tell us nothing". As always, of course, you are right. One of these days we'll put up the potentilly webby-winning content. Until then, this is it.

More anon. I hope.

Friday, February 22, 2008


...and even the online world knows it. My score on the "where should you travel?" test:

Your Score: Thai Resort

You scored 64% culture, 26% social, 18% activity, and 58% adventure! exciting, culturally rich destination that offers you all the relaxation you can handle. This is a more satisfying place to visit than the usual hot 'n sunny places because you are experiencing a very unique place. The beaches are gorgeous and you can chill out in a hammock and be left alone. But you can also venture out into the floating markets, restaurants and even ride an elephant. The resorts are an oasis of tranquility surrounded by a world of adventures. It really is the best of both worlds. You can stay in a typical resort, or for more privacy, you can stay in a beach house all to yourself. Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, but they also make all types of dishes to suit all tastes. You will come back feeling like you've been enriched and energized.

Link: The Where Should YOU Travel Test

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I'm sick. Again. I had about 10 days where I was healthy! And well! And producing human amounts of snot. Ahhh....memories.

I was more or less sent home yesterday by my supervisor. Mostly because she didn't want to be around me and my germs. It's all about the empathic sympathy, man. Actually, it may have something to do with the fact that I probably looked like I was going to pass out in the hallway. Which would have been interesting. Because I would always be known as the intern that passed out in the hallway. I am all about collecting the titles.

I took today off because I woke up and realized I probably should not be around people right now. Also because my head hurt and I haven't been able to regulate my temperature (because that's definitely a conscious thing I can control) and didn't want to sit in my office playing with the thermostat all day long.

So here's the thing. When you are a grown up, sick days suck. Because you can't really enjoy them. Can't enjoy the afternoon sunlight sighing through the shades - because you are too busy blowing the nose and coughing up disgusting things. Can't enjoy being able to sleep in - because your head hurts and you can't really sleep and you cough and wake yourself up too often. Can't use the time to be productive and get important things done - because your head feels swirly and can't concentrate.

Yup. I pine for my youth when sick days rocked.

Oh, and you say it's Valentine's? I suppose my festive thing was to watch Chocolat while trying to sleep and then make myself cocoa.

Damn that Juliette Binoche and her "rancid cinnamon."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Apparently "steamy romances" are bad for you

And I just finished one * (if only she'd left out God, it'd have been a much better book. Why oh Why was God needed in the midst of all the shagging? And there was no shapeshifting, which disappointed me)

But I digress. Today's almost Valentine's Day tip comes from Christianity Today's Elizabeth Marvin who tells us all how she "overcame her addiction to steamy romance novels" with the implication that "so can you".

Let me deconstruct. She starts off by:

"...Amid the usual traumas of adolescence, I knew I could turn to my mom, but my heart cried out for my dad, who always seemed uncomfortable in my presence." (TMI. Far far TMI and perhaps Dad knew she was going to turn out to be a bit of a nutter?)

Then...she was nearly taken over by teh evil romances...

"Romance novels fall into three categories, based on sexual content. The most innocent romances are sweet, stressing courtship rather than sex. Following those are spicy/sensual and erotica. I never ventured into the latter category, but sampled enough of the second to know which authors wrote the kinds of love stories I enjoyed." ( and, for anyone who takes this bit seriously, I believe I have a bridge that I would like you to buy)

They almost took her over to the dark side...

"Looking to soothe my conscience [that God would not approve of all this reading of sex], I found a statistic in a women's magazine claiming wives who read romance novels engaged in 40 percent more sex than women who didn't read romances. When I mentioned this fact to my husband, he grinned and said, "Why do you think I've never complained?" But then I read a newspaper article about a local romance writers' convention. An editor casually described the genre's most sexually explicit fare as soft-core pornography. I was horrified. That remark put an entirely new spin on my romance addiction—and explained why these books were so difficult to put down." ( Of course! They were the evil PORN!! Temptations from the Devil!!! )

Then the father returns. The biological one, of course. She's still waiting for the other one to make himself heard.

"After serious time on my knees, I knew God wanted me to deal with the spiritual roadblocks in my life: my romance reading and my distant relationship with my father. Even then I didn't realize the two were related." (on her knees--egads! )

It gets weirder after that. Read the rest for yourself here. Apparently, romance novel-reading was a substitute for her not having her father's love and, once she forgave her father for not giving her enough time and attention, she could rid herself of her "addiction".

It's nutters like these who give readers and Christians a bad name. Gah.

h/t Dear Author

* I also read this over the weekend, while I was laid up in bed in between more bouts of throwing up. I'll blog about that tomorrow I reckon since it's perfect for Valentine's Day book blogging. Really.

Friday, February 08, 2008

OED bound.

I'm taking a page from Holly, and am decreeing supertuesday my word of the year. Or at least my word of late winter/spring.

I have a habit of using a phrase or word to death, until it becomes annoying to my ear (and usually this occurs long, long after it's become annoying to other people's ears). In high school, I used chiquita like I lived on a banana farm. (Do bananas come from farms?) Then there's shit on a stick, which, to be honest, I use quite a lot still. Right now, I'm using dude. I have to actively restrain myself from calling my supervisors dude. As in "Dr. XYZ, could you sign off on this treatment plan? Dude." It is the time to embrace my adolescence.

I think this will work out if you say supertuesday superfast. So it comes out like "That's soopahtoozdei. Dude." And then don't explain.

Because only the weak explain.

since OED was mentioned...

and since I've been editing and proofreading all week (in between bouts of being sick)....

This is for all of you: A song about punctuation

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I, h0wever, have no good reason, aside from always knackered (which I automatically read as knickered and that makes me giggle. I really don't know.), always behind in work, coming to acceptance that two thirds of this committment is nearly over and ohmygod, ohmygod. That's about it.

Also I learned a new word today. See above.

Also I had received an evaluation on my work. Which was not attached to a raise, which was no expected, anyway. But am not obsessing over it. Therefore: PROGRESS.

Realized recently that there are some people in this world who do not have a sense of humor. I am still mulling this over, tumbling around in my skull because it's utterly foreign. How can one get through life without a sense of humor to buoy the bad bits? To take the aggravating masses with brio and perspective? This would be incredibly hard, no? I'm having a hard time with this. Can you teach a sense of humor? Install a funny bone? However, I understand this particular humor-less person better now. I'm starting to realize we see the world very differently and experience life very differently and I can't judge her by my mindset that seeks out the absurd and would rather parody than proselytize. And surprisingly, I want to choke her less.

The weather, however, is making me bipolar.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I wish I could say that I have a valid reason for not posting and thus amusing all of you(s) with details of my mundane life. The only reason I have is that I'm knackered. A 48-hour (and sort of continuing) stomach bug has led to my subsisting on a diet of dry toast and water (anything else is upchucked. You get the pic) and worrying about how I am to accomplish all the work I have to finish by the end of this week, both for my class and for the new job.
I did have plans to blog about my experience of the American election process but I fear my brain right now cannot give adequate attention to anything remotely resembling intelligent thought. When the receptacle in which said brain resides has spent much of the past 48 hours bent over a porcelain bowl and being rather too close to the water there than it needed to be, the brain goes on strike. Or, recalls bits of this scene and isn't too amused*. I guess I'll just have to wait it out.
What? TMI you say? Well, that's all you get for being here. Further deep thoughts about the state of the universe or at least the bits that concern me to follow...

* And, we all remember where the toilet led to in HP and the Chamber of Secrets.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I, on the other hand, have not screwed over anyone today. Or been screwed over by anyone. Or screwed...yous get the picture. I was reading Fanny's post just now and realised there are some American words that I find difficult to distinguish. They are also words that I want to use fairly often but then hesitate since I'm not sure I'm using the right ones.

Let me explain. Apart from the screwed over/screwed pair, another pair that I've had a lot of trouble using in the past is blow off/blow (him) off. Yes, well, the less said about the time I used them interchangeably, the better.

Another couple? Well, saloon/salon. This should be easier but in many parts of Asia, hair "salons" (in the American sense) are written up as "saloons". Especially in the local language. The idea of slapping on a pair of six-shooters and walking through swinging doors, sitting down on a barstool and asking for a "short but with layers, please and hold the shampoo" has never quite left my head.

Also, since I learnt most of my non-formal English in (the wilds of) Northern Australia, to "root" is always this (scroll down) rather than this (no. 3). See here (no. 4) for a good illustration of how quickly things can go wrong. Then, despite having lived here for nearly 5 years, I still need to think if someone says, "Do you want a ride?"

On a non-English note, I was 17 when I walked into a cafe in central Thailand and ensured all locals there were hugely amused (probably for days after since it wasn't a tourist sort of town) when I insisted I wanted good breasts* with my coffee. I'm still waiting for those.

* I'd just arrived in the country--my grandparents were still living there--on a holiday before I went to uni. It seemed like a good idea to travel about, see the country and improve my Thai. In case yous are wondering what I was actually after, it was milk (nom. I believe breasts and/or nipples are nohm). This was before I realised that coffee in Thailand automatically came with condensed milk and sugar added, unless specified otherwise.


I think I've completely screwed over a more or less complete stranger today. I am uncomfortable with this level of power. I am being mysterious and vague and really can't give any other details, but, um, yeah. Pretty much, in a very behind the scenes way, just fucked over someone. With reasons! Very good reasons! Valid reasons that were supported by those in more power than me.

But still.

This seems so very appropriate.

I love this site (where the image is from). It would probably be inappropriate to poster my office walls with their products.

Though it would make me a more cheerful person.

And isn't that really what matters?