Friday, September 29, 2006

Babies are in season!

My Mum cracks me up. I was at my parents' house last night for my weekly visit (I feel very guilty if I have to miss a week, because I know she really looks forward to it).

She's a maternity nurse and always has lots of stories. Apparently the ward is very busy at the moment, about 300 cases, which is twice the number from last month. The clerks are all saying "I've never seen so many files!" and they've had to overflow into the general ward next door, so the poor patients there have to put up with all the baby crying noises. It's like a constant loud irritating hum punctuated with distressed screams. I'd rather listen to swarms of bees than be in a baby ward all day. One old guy said to my Mum "I haven't heard a baby crying for years and now they're everywhere!"

I BLAME THE CHRISTMAS AND VALENTINE'S DAY DEBAUCHERIES.

"Jusht one more Chrishmas beer... oo-er, my wife ish looking quite attractive tonight."

"Oh darling, what better way to celebrate our love than by conceiving a child on Valentine's Day?" etc.

People should really be more responsible. I mean, next month (October) I have a birthday party to go to EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT. How inconsiderate! When am I going to get some "me" time? :P

Anyway, I'm getting to the story in question.

She was attending to this enormous lady who had a Caesarean and wanted to pick up her baby from the nursery. By the way, I am flabbergasted that this woman even managed to CONCEIVE with all that weight. Not to mention all these Women's Day stories entitled "I WAS PREGNANT AND DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT" keep popping into my mind.

So on the way back to the room, with the baby, Mum (who is quite wily, and let's face it, she's going to be 60 next year, although she doesn't look it, and the less back-breaking stuff she has to do the better) said to the husband "OK, I'll take the princess, and you can wheel the queen back."
Husband: "But I want to hold the baby."
Mum (in a firmer tone): "No no, it's OK. I'll take the princess, you take the queen."
Husband: "But..."
At this point the wife got narky and yelled "(Husbands name)! Come here and push me back to the room!"

Heehee!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis

Oooh, oooh everybody! Yes, all 2 of you reading this! You must start reading this comic I found by Stephan Pastis:

Pearls Before Swine

She is hilarious! The only thing wrong with the site is that they only show the comics for the last month. If anyone knows where I can find the archive motherload for this site, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Hippoprince



Birthday: 28th September, 2006
Method:
Freehand in MS Paint. Look, Ma, no layers!
Comment: How could I refuse a request from Razer, my most faithful and regular blog reader? (Actually I think he and Emma B are my ONLY regular blog readers, but, eh... :)

The story behind this harks back to when I was a little girl in church listening to my dad preach. It was a very fiery sermon delivered from a soaring pulpit, and he was talking about how bad hypocrites were, and repeated the word "hypocrite" many times in his booming voice to emphasise how bad it was to be one. Except whenever he said it my child's brain translated it to "hippoprince" because I didn't know what a hypocrite was. I wondered how they got to be princes in the first place, and decided that they had to be very rich and spoilt, and probably just got born into hippo royal families.

P.S. If you click on the picture, you can see a larger version of it and have a closer look at his voice bubble!

P.P.S. And yes, that is a panda he's asking for. And if you want to know why, I shall retort, who WOULDN'T want a freakin' panda?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

DotA Rage - I should probably get off the ride now

So there's a group of people I sometimes play DotA with. I play it with them maybe once a fortnight, and I started playing because my friends were, and it seemed a fun (and addictive) way to interact with everybody. Mostly I like playing different characters and trying them out, and I bumble along, occasionally dying needlessly while I try to find the secret shop on the map, and trying to beat the computer.

What I don't like, is when we're forced to split into teams and play each other, either because there's too many of us to fit onto one team, or someone wants to make it more "challenging". And then things, to me, start getting ugly and not a lot of fun.

I guess the main thing is, that for you to win, someone else has to lose. I just don't like that. Someone has to feel bad for you to feel good. And vice versa. Perhaps I feel this way because I get to be on the losing end a lot - I don't play it religiously and I don't study tactics guides like they're the lost testament of Huggy Bear.

People will say, "Well, that's your problem" and that if something doesn't kill you it makes you stronger, it'll spur you on to do better next time, blah.

Well no, it makes me see the dark side of people I call my friends, and it makes me feel crap, and even if I get a hero kill on someone and I feel initially euphoric, there is still a small seed of crap in there as well. Because I've "killed" a person and not the computer. And hero kills involve chasing someone down, trapping or stunning them, and repeatedly injuring them. Maybe I'm just a bit too soft-hearted for it all.

Also, when someone dies, and you're playing in the same room with them, they get quite violent, and swear, and even hit things. I greatly dislike raised voices and open displays of anger, perhaps because I was raised in a culture where it was OK for adults to hit kids, and I tend to associate those two things with violence and hurt.

I'm not the only one that feels like this, someone I talked to said he felt like stopping because he was having fun playing his game, and then his teammate started getting shirty with him because he wasn't fully focused on annihilating the other team and being aggressive enough.

Sometimes I think that DotA should stand for "Drones on Testosterone Anger".

I do not play DotA all day everyday. I don't play it enough to get good, and I don't want to, because then I would stop enjoying it. To me it's like a book that I've read halfway, put down, and then picked up again to liven up a dull moment.

I can be competitive, but if two and a half years of kendo has taught me anything, it's that there's always going to be someone better than you, and someone worse than you. Always.

One day you'll beat the University Games champion 2 - 0 (EHEHEHEHEHEEE!) and then the next you draw a match with some white belt (bleah). So really the only person you can be sure of competing against constantly, and the only person who wins when you win, is yourself.

So now the guys are talking about serious matches, forming teams and who is going to play what role, and taking on another team and kicking their arses. They played against a group of people on the weekend (and in my mind I can see this group of people being some extremely kiasu mob) and lost, and want to take them on again. I know I'm probably the weakest link, but it saddens me that I can't play with them for fun anymore.

Survivor for the women - the day after

You know, even though I don't follow the show and the only episode I saw was the one where the redneck loses to the gay guy and drawls "I kin't believe I got beat by a HOMERsexual", I reckon that if any of the women say "Oh I can't wait to get out of here and taste Mom's cooking/see my boyfriend/kids/dog/go to the mall/brush my teeth," they are all telling porkies.

I reckon the very, very, very first thing they'll do is make an appointment for a Brazilian wax. T_T

Just something that popped into my head while I was making brownies tonight. They look very nice, but I'm taking them to work - I know exactly how much sugar went into them so I'm not going to have any :P

Frugality: DIY Drawing Tablet Bag

I started a blog at http://frugallady.blogspot.com in June 2006, but wasn't dedicated enough to post to it regularly. I've decided to absorb the posts from this into my current blog instead, and send frugallady out into Blogger world to be recycled.


In my an9ie blog I wrote that someone wonderful had bought me an amazing gift for my birthday, a Wacom Intuos 3 9 x 12. And I love it very much, but hooley dooley it's huge, and unfortunately it doesn't come with a case.

I like to take it to my boyfriend's house on weekends, and so this is a problem since I can't keep carrying it around in a towel-lined carrier bag lined forever.

I did a search for 19" laptop bags on eBay, but the interior storage for the one I was looking at was still too small by a couple of centimetres, and I'm certainly not going to order a special Wacom case from the States = $$$$$

So I did some digging, and I found this website that showed me how to MAKE MY OWN. All you need is high density foam, duct tape and some velcro, or even wetsuit material with wetsuit glue (as an added bonus this will keep your precious laptop or tablet dry in any downpour). Fantastico!

I can even see how the original design can be improved slightly by adding carry straps, and an extra layer of foam at the base to cushion your baby from shock when you rest it on the ground.

I love the Internet :)

La vie en rose - a week in Yallingup/Dunsborough/Margaret River

I wrote this a while ago but never got to posting it. Nicky and I went on a week's trip down South for a few days after my birthday (Monday 31st July to Friday 4th August).

Some memories to treasure (or just laugh about):

Arriving in pitch darkness on a stormy night, being the only guests because it was a Monday, and freaking ourselves out thinking the white van in the carpark belonged to a backpacker murderer. Waking up to the sound of the ocean. Sitting on the balcony of the villa, looking at the waves, and having hot tea and honey on toast for breakfast. Lunch at Vasse Felix Winery. I even had the camera with me ready for photos but the spell cast by the Most Perfect Pork Belly And Mash In The World I had ever tasted made me forget about everything else. Mmm, crunching up pork crackling and then letting it melt on your tongue... Making ourselves ill by getting sundaes at Simmo's Icecreamery 5 minutes before they closed. And then feeding the rest of the ice-cream to the goat and emu from the farm next door (who came running when they saw us, methinks they've done this before). The goat started butting the emu when Nicky offered the big bird an ice-cream. Bad goat! Watching sunsets. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. Nearly peeing my pants by forgoing toilet stops until we got to Mandurah.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A message from the Universe, via Mum

So while I was feeling all sian at work today, and thinking about the subject matter mentioned in the last blog entry, I got a phone call from my Mum, who said, talking about a mutual acquaintance of ours: "I tell you, this [name witheld]. What is she waiting for? Every day wait, wait. Tan hami gutao?* Just go and do it. No one's going to do it for you. Eh, I've got to go. Mai ka e kong**, ah!" and hangs up, leaving me mouthing "Bye Mum" to the mouthpiece like a slapped codfish.

Seriously, my Mum really does call me up on a regular basis, completely out of the blue, to deliver a few sentences of wisdom, and then when she's finished goes "Yah, OK ah? Bye!" and hangs up, leaving me feeling quite bemused. Sometimes she will do this up to four times a day, as if some Oracular being opens up a channel to her at unexpected moments and impels her to pass on their wisdom :)

* This one is a bit hard to translate. It's like "what the heck are you waiting for?" I don't know what a gutao is, although tao means "head".
**"Don't tell her."

So SIAN

So I've been feeling a little, ah, let me resort to Hokkien for this, sian*. I suppose you could translate this into feeling bored and listless, having a general sense of ennui. Interestingly, the Wikipedia description includes a definition of ennui as "different from boredom in that ennui describes weariness or annoyance over a long period of time; boredom is relieved easily, while ennui is constant". Yay.

I told one of my housemates about this, and he said, yes, he'd been feeling it too, and it's probably been brought on by the latest house move, disruption to our regular lifestyle, having to settle in again and so forth.

Yes indeed, for those who didn't know, we have moved house lately. The old landlords sold the property to some cibai (if you want to know what this means, look it up in urban dictionary) moneybags real estate agents (both husband and wife, and probably little Junior too, Justin help us all). I say that because they lied (misled is probably a better word, but from all accounts they LIED) to my old housemates that we could all stay on after the house had been sold, and then immediately went to the sellers that evening and said that they wanted a quick settlement and the tenants had to be out in a month. Chau cibai been real estate agents! I wouldn't trust them as far as I could drown them in a pit of lime using grappling hooks.

Hmm, anyway, before I was distracted...

... ah yes, this general feeling of sian-ness, I suppose we should count our blessings, I mean, imagine how people who have to work 7 days a week to feed their five children feel**, or starving people in Africa, or patients with terminal diseases. They would probably kill to be me, feeling all sian here with my full belly, air-conditioned desk job, futon bed, and unlimited access to high GI foods.

But I can't help it, I have all these grand plans of where I would like to be, working for myself, enjoying every day, instead of just looking forward to the weekend. And when the weekend has come and gone, I lament all the things I could have done and didn't, like working on my website/blog/novel/abs/drawings/baking/greeting cards/plans to rule the world/web-comics. I find that, instead, I've spent my time staying indoors, playing DOTA or reading or eating baked goods***.

Anyway, to quote Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try." I did enjoy myself this weekend, eating and reading and playing DOTA (although I kept dying because I would get distracted and do something silly like look for the secret shop on the map and get killed because I've left my hero unattended). Perhaps there is a way to do this and still get paid. What's that you say? Disability pension? Get knocked up and say I don't know who the father is? Or both? Heeheehee!

* Pronunciation: see-yen run together, for all the non-Hokkien speakers. And believe it or not, I looked at three different shades of brown, and chose the final one because the other two shades looked too interesting :P

** Actually if they had any smarts they would all be on the dole, because the payments you get with 5 kiddies make it seem silly to break your back working for cash.

***Although I did pay for these in suffering, and let me just say fibre is boring, but bl**dy necessary to your diet. Hmm, a while ago my Mum made chocolate bran balls (like cornflake crispies, but with bran and chocolate instead), and also you can hide bran quite successfully in cakes... Another baking side-project methinks.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Goodbye Hayley



My sister's dog Hayley died last night. She was chasing a cat, and a car hit her hard and fast, and broke her back. I don't know the details of how she got onto the road in the first place, I think she had just come back from her evening walk and was getting out of the car. My sister's husband took her to two vets, they were closed, and on the way to the third one, she died. But before that he brought her home so that my sister could say goodbye.

She was a young dog, less than two years old, a funny cross between a Blue Heeler and a Border Collie. I remember the day my sister first got her and how she looked; all ears and nose and eyes in a little face, absolutely fearless and curious about everything she saw. The photo above was from the first time I met her.

Needless to say, my sister is extremely distraught. If she ate out she always brought back tidbits for Hayley, the living room was full of stuffed toys bought from op shops, she talked about her constantly until my Mum would get exasperated and say "Aiyah! Just have a child already!"

I pray that the grief will pass soon.

I know the dog shouldn't have been near the road in the first place, but I also wish that cat's owner had kept it in for the night, as all responsible cat owners should. Cats don't need licenses, so councils don't know how many there are in the area, or how many are desexed. They kill native fauna, even when belled, and they're allowed to roam free at night. It's not right.

This is not a cat hate rant. The cat was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I've known many wonderful cats, whose owners do the right thing.

I also realise that there are just as many derelict dog owners and breeders out there too, who let their dogs wander, don't desex or license them, and breed them irresponsibly, creating diseased or crippled strains that render heartache and great expense to their future owners.

Don't get me started on pet shops that keep animals in tiny glass cages so they learn to sleep and eat where they defecate, and turn puppies and kittens into impulse buys by windowshoppers, bought by brainless people who then seem surprised that they'll have to look after their new acquisition for at least 10 years, and be responsible for its poo and food and health during that time.

When you point your finger, three more point back at you.

Update (14/12/2006): I just thought I'd add a little more to this story, about the kindness of strangers. I was on the phone with my sister the day after the accident, she hadn't stopped crying since the day before, and had stayed home from work.

I heard her doorbell rang in the distance, she said, "I'd better go get that," and put the phone down. A few minutes later she called me up with this story.

The lady at the door lived over the road where Hayley had been knocked down. She saw the accident from her balcony, and the next morning, she walked down to where it happened, and looked for Hayley's collar.

She gave the collar to my sister, and said, "I saw the whole thing, and I'm so sorry for your loss." She continued, "I have two dogs myself, and I would hate to lose them," and then gave my sister a big hug.