Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Go away, zombies!

I had another stupid zombie dream last night.

I SWEAR I wasn't even thinking about the darn things as I drifted off to sleep. In fact, I was reading the new IKEA catalogue (isn't it BEYOOO-tiful?) and wondering which Vika legs to pair with that shiny white table-top.

In my dream, I was enjoying a nice afternoon get-together with a bunch of people, and having an altogether pleasant time.

Come to think of it, the interior of the house did look a little like page 14 of the IKEA catalogue.

Suddenly we all turn and look outside, through the large floor-to-ceiling windows (inconvenient, in a town rampant with zombies, one would think) and notice that the sun is setting.

Voices hush, and a shudder goes through the group. We gloomily watch shadows limp towards us, drawn to the light and our fresh, warm brains.

Dammit.

The usual high-jinks follow ... blah-blah ... everyone! Quickly! Barricade the house! Oh crap, I'm being chased by something that looks like it's wearing a placenta on its head ... Somehow we all survive ... Two years later, fast-forward to living in heavily guarded bio-dome, I go to relax in the sauna and in the meantime someone has forgotten to lock the back door of the dome and the zombies flood in again. And all I have on is a towel. CRAPCRAPCRAP.

In the midst of all this, I remember thinking, "Hang on a minute. Where the &^%@&%^ is Milla Jovovich?"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nice is sexy-cool

I think we've become accustomed to being treated indifferently or rudely by people in service industries.

I have, at least. So much so that when someone is genuinely nice or chirpy, or gives me a real smile, I really take notice.

Last week I went to the local supermarket with my mother. (This place is open till 10pm, seven days a week, which I LOVE.) Mum had the flu and wanted to get some zinc tablets. We pored over a few brands and bought the one that seemed like the best value for money.

The teenager at the cash register was reserved but polite, with short, curly brown hair. After he had packed our things, I looked over the receipt and noticed that we had paid 40 cents more than the shelf price for the tablets.

I went back to the original cashier and pointed this out to him. I know people out there are thinking, "Sheesh, lady, it's only 40 cents," but we weren't in a hurry, we're pretty frugal, and we don't like being hoodwinked into paying more than we need to (even if it is by accident). Also, as someone who's a little shy, I like doing small, potentially confrontational things like this to challenge myself.

He quietly took the bottle and went to check the price on the shelf. I expected him to come back grumpy and a little surly, but he returned as calmly and methodically as he had left.

When he came back he entered something into the cash register and took out more than 40 cents. Then he put $8.15 into my hand and, like someone handing out an award, handed me back the bottle of zinc tablets with a flourish.

"Because it scanned in wrong, you get a full refund and the item as well," he said, meeting my eyes with a big smile.

"Awesome!" I said, before I could help myself.

He gave me a thumbs-up and a little smile-click with a wink, and I thought, "No, YOU'RE awesome."

I don't rob cradles, but if I had a cute teenage daughter, I would have gussied her up and sent her to the school ball with him. Because manners and nice boys are sexy-cool.

"Hey Mum," I said excitedly as I was driving us home, "we got a free bottle of zinc and a thumbs-up!"

We both grinned at each other.

"What a nice boy!" she said.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Selective memories

This is a conversation I had with my mother about an hour ago.

Mother: So, you're going to Japan at the end of the year, right?

an9ie: Nope, Europe.

Mother: You'd better get a hair cut before you go.

(Note from an9ie: I have no idea where this came from. Is there a head lice epidemic in Europe I don't know about? A serial hair-puller? Does she want me to look smart for the Queen? I would love to see the path my mother's thought processes take from point A to point B.)

an9ie:
Yeah, I'll make an appointment.

Mother: Or I could cut your hair!

an9ie: I had the same haircut for the first thirteen years of my life, so ... no. No, thank you.

Mother: I thought you looked nice.

an9ie: I wanted a page boy haircut like all the other girls, but instead you gave me ... I can't begin to describe it ... the kids at school all laughed at me.

Mother: It wasn't that bad, was it?

an9ie: And some of the teachers too.

Mother: Oh dear.

an9ie: They called me "Mushroom Head*".


* Except they called me that in Mandarin. I went to a Chinese school**.
** You'd think I'd be able to speak fluently by now.***
*** Nope.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A quiet evening, and I enjoy playing God

I got home this evening and was greeted by silence. No TV, no kitcheny noises, even Norm was having a little snooze in his mug and not tapping on the glass going, "Oi! Woman! Where's my dinner?" like he usually does at this time of day.

"Where's Mum and Dad?" I asked my brother.

"They've gone to visit M. Mum made some fried rice but she took it all with her," he said glumly.

Then his face brightened. "But I got some KFC!"

"Awesome!"

I had KFC and sweet corn soup for dinner. That fulfills, um, one food group. Any nutrients were negated by the saturated fats and secret spices seeping into my arteries.

And then I had some cake.

After that I had some pâté on Turkish bread. Normandie's Chicken with Cognac. We had some at a work function and I am now addicted.

We have food addiction issues with my family where we will become obsessed with one item and then eat it until we become sick of it. This fit usually lasts about a week, but can go on for up to month.

My sister ate frozen raspberry yoghurt twice a day for two weeks. I think she went through three or four tubs.

My mother made mango pudding every second night for a month.

Then there was the time my mother and I baked a poppy seed butter cake (OK, maybe two) every night for a week, devouring it as soon as it came out of the oven, crisp and smelling like sunshine. Sunshine drenched with butter and sprinkled with crunchy opiates. We became more and more adventurous with the number of poppy seeds we added until the cake was more grey than yellow. This looked like it would go on indefinitely, until we discovered that poppy seeds make you extremely, painfully, uncomfortably constipated.

Never again, you delicious, evil seeds.

My brother also bought Spore, the game, today, so we've been having fun playing with that.

You start off with a little single-celled organism, and evolve it into whatever you like, herbivore, carnivore, octopus-thingy, lizard-thingy, Joan Rivers. You collect DNA points by feeding on meal units, and then "spend" them on evolutionary attachments like mandibles, new eyes, legs, spikes and so forth.

I remember Spore being in the news not long ago, because they released the creature-builder program early, and people were using it to build things that looked like human rude bits.

I don't know why they were surprised, honestly. You could put a paper doll kit of Mother Theresa on the Internet, and there will always be some poindexter who would reconfigure it into something that would make Paris Hilton blush.

In fact, that reminds me of a trick someone showed me once, where you fold one of our (Australian) banknotes a certain way, and the side with the Queen's face becomes heterosexual intercourse. I did not find this amusing, because I like the Queen.

Mind you, some of the attachments Spore has on offer do look quite X-rated.

"What the hell are those?" I asked my brother, pointing to a lineup that looked like lady-parts, a scrotum with a chunk taken out of it, and tentacles.

"Oh, they're a [sorry, I can't remember, but you'll know it when you see it], a mouth, and some tentacles."

"Huh."

I think the 3D modellers had waaay too much fun developing this game.

I had a go, and played for a little while, not seriously, just dipping my toes in the water. My planet was called "Angieland", and my first little species were called "Boogees". You would have known if I had been playing seriously, by the way, because those little Boogees would have been taking Suzuki violin, ballet, and Kumon Maths before you could say "pie".

My aim was to make a My Little Pony with a sting in its tail, but Boogee One got eaten before I could buy it some legs.

Evolution is hard. I can't imagine being the first fish that crawled onto land. It's just as well someone else got to do it. I'd still be in the water going, "Seriously, Jerry, legs are hard, man. Let's just float here for a bit longer," and Jerry, that lazy S.O.B., would agree, and we'd still be living under the sea and eating plankton.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Again with the zombies

Seriously, the bastards buggers bastards* scare me.

* Yes, I deliberated long and hard about which word to use. I say, "Those bastards!" quite often in speech, but feel a little shy about using it in writing. Then I thought about where the word, "bugger", came from, and decided "bastard" wasn't so bad.