Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sympathy cards suck

I should point out I've been shopping for them, not receiving them.

I have come to suspect that they are designed for people who lose elderly relatives, because they all seem to have a slight air of 'well it wasn't unexpected really' about them. I'm not sure whether I despise the 'there are no words' card which upon opening is filled with the worst drivel imaginable or the 'In sympathy - words by Helen Steiner Rice (written on the outside of the card)' more. The words by just seems to say "here are some pretty words to make you feel better, there there, I couldn't think of anything else".

Where are the words that express what you really feel, like in the words of a good friend of the bereaved husband "this is just the most fuckedest thing ever". Where are the cards that say "I don't know how to help you, but call anytime day or night", where is the honesty? How can I give someone a card saying I share their sorrow when they have just lost their wife and I'm still here and so is my husband? Why are sappy rhyming words supposed to take the pain away of losing your soul mate, friend, beloved relative? Whoever writes those fucking awful things should be shot. Of course the irony being that then someone would buy their loved ones a ridiculous card that means nothing, and it won't bring her back.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thailand #1

(I hope this comes out in english)

Well, after 36 hours in transit, i finally arrived on the island of Kho Pangan and miraculously found the Boy, who had arrived here 8 hours previously.

Reasons to love my Boy:
1) he found a place to stay on a beautiful beach away from the main tourist area, called Haad Yao. (Haad = beach) It has a coral reef 25 meters off shore...
2) he knows how to ride a manual moped* and managed not to drop me as he rode us round the island. A bit funny though, cos the hills are steep, and a few times i had to get off and walk up cos the little 4-stroke moped couldn't manage both of us. You feel a right twit with a helmet on your head, running up a hill after a bike.

We have eaten prawns that are 200grams each, barracuda, and crazy fried things at the market stalls in town. We have lounged around in hammocks for hours. We have gotten horibly lost and seen some of the most beautiful countryside, coated in coconut palms, bananas, and big cows. And a shack cobbled together with scraps of wood and other building materials, fitted with a sattelite dish.

Also, we are owned by a dog. This is awesome.
The beach has a number of 'resorts'** along its length, and most of them have their resident dogs, and there are also a couple of trouble makers who may not belong to anyone. But the dog politics is pretty full-on. And if we pay attention to the wrong dog, the dog who owns us (and everyone else in our resort) get very protective and chases the other dog away and herds us to make sure we don't stray again. Very amusing.
The resort is actauly run, as far as we can see, by one guy caled Chai, who is something less than 15 years old. He does everything, including attempting, without success, to teach me how to ride a scooter.

So far, my first two days of holiday have been brilliant. Jealous yet?

* scooter with foot-operated gears, but no clutch.
** collection of bungalows, with a simple restaurant/bar/tv room common area. There are also a couple of independent restaurants and bars along the beach, that set chairs out on the sand in the evening. Beach al fresco dining is the best.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Have Your Apocalypse Now

OMG!!1!!! Look what I found on YouTube

Now all I need is the 'Speaking South African 101' (or whatever its called) sketch and I'll be fulfilled.
"Thats not a grillra, thats me wyfe"
Rob said that to me during our wedding ceremony and we still say it. Cracks me up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lol (warning this contains pictures of spiders)

This was the first one I saw. But it seems they were wrong.

Thanks to Black Knight for posting the first link over at Pav Cat's.


Oh and next weekend is Flagstaff's Ren Faire, and me with nothing to wear. Doh. I need vampire teeth and wings stat!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

When good sheep go bad

Black Sheep

For too long we've been abused - you've shaved us bare, cut off our tails, penned us up, made us the butt of your stupid jokes. There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand. Do you realise we out number you 10 to 1? Ah, revenge will be sweet!

This will be the bestest movie ever! I vote an expedition when it opens. Genius. Genius!

Allegedly ...

There are 704.0250320011 600cc breast implants in one male polar bear.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Again with Japan from the LilSis

How can a plebiscite be shite?
When this is the modus operandi of local candidates:
Minivan? Check!
Lurid advertisements (see the 'Erection Party' photo in our photo site (forthcoming))? Check!
Mega-megaphone? Check!!
Startlingly strident woman with no shame about public disturbance? Check!!!
Alarm clock set to too friggin early? CHECK!

Sum total: 8am (or earlier if they're a bit desperate) wake up call from piercing voice of woman hired for her abrasive voal chords bellowing into mega-megaphone attached precariously to roof of minivan plastered with lurid ads doing blockies round the 'hood to entreat you to vote for the candidate of choice. Still don't see how this would capture the hearts and minds of the swinging voter. At worst at close
proximity. Weirdest (and slowest) chase scene ever experienced as J and I pedalled as fast as our one-speed wonders would permit, away from minivan intent on following us at deafening range, all the way to the station. Wished I knew "We're not even eligible to vote", but it's not in the phrasebooks...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Tales from Japan

My LilSis has just moved to live in Japan for a year, and I've just got permission to share a few quirks of her experiences!
From her first email..

Our apartment is great - quite big by Japanese standards and very sensibly laid out. Everything's a bit small (we touch the doorways when we have bed hair and the sink's about at knee height) but otherwise it's great. We may not stay here for the whole year, but we'll settle in for a bit and then work out what we want then. The neighbourhood is great - really quiet, gorgeous houses, tiny little backstreets and heaps of tiny little 'aka chochin' (literally, 'red lantern'- small local bars) which we'll visit as soon as we can competently say more than just 'can I have a beer'. Speaking of language - it's (as predicted) proving a bit difficult, but we're coping. Probably the trickiest moment was trying to explain 'de facto' to the people organising our Alien Registration Card at the local city hall. We're going to start lessons soon so hopefully that'll help.

We went to the second-hand bike shop on the corner and managed to communicate sufficiently with the very resourceful old lady who ran the shop to buy an bright blue bike for J (I suggested we call it Icehouse but we've settled for Electric Blue) and a bottle-green 'cruiser' for me (name yet to be determined). I plan on cruising the 10 mins to work every day on said slick vehicle We're off to Kyoto on our day off together today and are hoping that the cherry blossom (which is a source of much excitement amongst the locals at the moment - the bureau of meterology had to apologise for predicting the first blooms incorrectly) will be on show. We're staying in a Ryokan (Japanese Inn) in central Kyoto tomorrow night after a lot of temple-gazing and (hopefully) some very good food. In other news, I missed our first earthquake. Whoopsie. Everybody else felt it but I missed it thanks to being on a bus at the time. Apparently the lights were swinging at our place, but no falling items etc. The epicentre was a good 150km from here, so nothing serious.

Minutiae: Awesome
- musical garbage trucks (hilarious)
- karaoke game shows
- game shows more generally
- little displays in train carriages which give you a little graphic of the train and it's current speed
- trains more generally
- sumo competitions on tv
- strawberry and chocolate bagels
- pocky
- cheap cool izakayas (japanese bars)
- tuna sashimi
- Shop 99 (the 99 yen convenience store near our station - brilliant)
- cheap, excellent food
- accidentally catching an outdoor performance by SMAP - japan's preeminent boyband

Minutiae: Less awesome
- insane garbage sorting and collection protocols
- no predictive text on phones (I'm averaging about 10 mins per sms/email)
- open sewers
- musical garbage trucks (when sleep is being attempted)
- everything is sweeter. lemonade is undrinkable, bread is weird
- enormous genetically modified fruit
- 2manydjs going to Tokyo and Osaka but not Nagoya
- and not being able to get to Osaka because of work

Minutiae: just odd
- very very popular band called...Mr Children

Thank you, Ob and Coz

Pressies from afar are really cool, especially when they were totally unexpected and come from people who know us so well.

The J man has already used the bib,

the lime is on the 'mantlepiece',

and the Penn and Teller magnet is on the fridge. The book about the space coyote is really cool too.

Let us know what to put in the care package back... You surely haven't run out of vegemite yet, but I'm sure timtams and mint slices don't last long over there...