Thursday, December 03, 2009

Confession

The Backstreet Boys are coming to Perth in March 2010. 

I am very excited.

That is all.

Oh alright, that's not all. Because if I buy a ticket, I'm not just investing (investing?) in an incredible stadium experience, I'm also going to relive my bittersweet youth.

And if they don't get all the dance moves right for, "Quit Playing Games With My Heart"*, I am going to throw rocks at them. 

Except for Kevin. You've always been my favourite, sweet Kevin. In fact, let's check the BB Wikipedia entry to see what the boys have been up to.

...

Kevin left? Damn yooou, Kevin!

* Or am I thinking of another song? Because there weren't that many dance moves in "Quit Playing Games With My Heart", but in the video they did wear really thin shirts, and then it rained, and the shirts stuck to them, and then all the buttons came undone and ... hmm, maybe THAT's why it's my favourite song.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Graduation!

It's graduation night for our Diploma of Screen & Media (specialising in Animation), and I've been asked to give a speech on behalf of the class.
Go away, butterflies!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When things come together

I went to my mother's for lunch and she had bought this book for me:

The blurb on the back says, "Inspired by a course run by the National College of Ireland, [this book] comprises 20 letters from Maeve, offering advice, tips and her own wonderfully witty take on the life of a writer, in addition to contributions from top writers, publishers and editors."
This is a pretty special gift because it means my mother has accepted that I'm pursuing this crazy dream (and is no longer pushing me to be/marry a doctor/dentist/accountant/lawyer).
And as everyone knows, when you've got your Mummy behind you, you can pretty much conquer the world.
I suppose the universe agrees, because a catalogue with this message arrived in the mail this afternoon:

I know it's just a catalogue, but I'll take good portents wherever I can get them, thank you very much.

Time to get fit

How do I know?

My arms get fatigued when I wash my hair.

I look at photos from four years ago and my face had ANGLES.

And tonight I realised that my virtual pet on Facebook gets more exercise than I do. Mainly because I keep entering him in races to win money for snappy outfits and garden furniture.

What a sad state of affairs.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

MFCs say the darndest things

While having dinner and watching Dollhouse last night ...

MFC: Who's that?

an9ie: Her name's Sierra. She's played by an Australian actress.

MFC: Her face looks like an Easter Island statue.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Before you die, do remember to destroy all private correspondence

I know! Multiple blog posts! But if the blogging muse is around you have to take advantage of her presence. Otherwise she leaves in a huff and you're left postless until December.

A comment that Tokyobling left in August reminded me of how much I like Kate Beaton's "Hark, a vagrant" comics. So I trawled through the archives and got to this one, about James Joyce's dirty, dirty, DIRTY letters to Nora Barnacle, and it made me laugh all over again.

an9ie: Hey, MFC! Come have a look at these filthy letters I was telling you about the other day!

MFC (from the kitchen): No thanks, I'm eating.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Parenting fail

an9ie: You know, if we ever have a child, your study will have to be the nursery, because there is no freakin' way I'm giving up my room.

MFC: Nooo! Bags not my study!

MFC: Heh heh, you can't touch it now. It's been bagsed.

MFC: I know! The nursery could be ... your mother's house!

an9ie: That's an awesome idea!

Now, I shall sit back and wait for anonymous criticism to arrive from people with no sense of humour.

Monday, October 26, 2009

That elusive early bedtime

I knew I shouldn't have introduced MFC to the Rather Good website just before bedtime.

Mind you, I have seen the Bagger 288 clip five times now (people in our animation production team keep showing it to newcomers), and it still puts me in stitches EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the other hand

It could be worse. At least I'll never have to cook for the next forty years.

In summary, SMASHY-SMASHY-SMASH

What a day.
This morning a moron in a flashy white ute--you know, the type that are never used for actually transporting heavy goods (except inflated egos)--cut me off and spent the whole time talking on his mobile phone.
I used Chinese dialect to curse his ancestors, and prayed that his member would fall off at an inconvenient time in the near future.
Oh, excuse me, my mother just came in to ask me how much funerals cost in Perth and could I please look them up on the Internet. Such a cheery, organised person.
Right, I'm back. The answer? Not as much as you might think.
This afternoon I got rejected from rental by another property manager. Before I'd even put in an application.
Yesterday, at the home open, I heard the manager telling a lady that rent applications would take a minimum of 48 hours to process.
But when I called today to ask another question about the house, she said it had already gone--to people who had seen it that morning.
"That's quick," I said inanely, thinking, 48 hours my arse, to which that daughter of Beelzebub replied in a subterranean-class drawl, "You can't muck around, luv."
Muck around? I only saw the property yesterday morning, lady! ARRRGH.
Several times today I have entertained the thought of blocking out the car's licence plates, and getting my brother to take the wheel while I ride shotgun and do a drive-by egging of the real estate office.
Except of course I can't, now, because I have told the Internets.
My parents are watching Iron Chef on TV and shouting, "That's not how you cut up pineapple! Aiyah! What a waste!"
I am never going to get a (non-scummy) rental property.
This is going to be my life for the next forty years.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Smashy days are here again

MFC and I are planning to move in together and we have been looking for places to rent.
I found a place that looked OK; a little old, but within budget, and called the property manager up on Wednesday morning to find out more details.
The twisty-turvy conversation we had not only made me late for class, but also increased my blood pressure by about seven million units.
Let me re-enact the whole hilarious episode for you.
Ring-ring. Preliminary hellos and introductions and then I start to ask questions.
an9ie: I'm just calling about the property at XX Street. Is it still available?
Property manager PM): Oh sure, we had a couple come through last night, but you can have a look at it.
an9ie: O ... K. Can I ask some questions about the property?
PM: Sure, go ahead.
an9ie: Does it have ADSL?
PM: (Long pause.) Ooh, I've never heard of that before. What is it?
an9ie: High speed internet.
PM: Wait, I'll just go and ask someone. (Longer pause.) I don't know, but the couple who were in there last were pretty old, so probably not.
an9ie: (Must ... not ... kill.) Well, is there a garden shed out the back for storage?
PM: There's a single lockup garage.
an9ie: (That was NOT an answer to my question.) So is there a garden shed?
PM: I don't know. I don't think so.
an9ie: (This is too hard. We're just going to have to find these things out ourselves.) Well, my partner and I both work full-time, so do you think we could come and see it around 6pm sometime this week?
PM: No, we don't have after-hours inspections.
an9ie: (Right, that's it, lady. I am going to hunt you down and make you into my next winter hat.) But you said you had a couple come through "last night"!
PM: Oh, that was at 4.30.
an9ie: (So 4.30pm is night time?) What about the weekend?
PM: We don't do weekend inspections.
an9ie: (Is there anything you DO do, apart from using up precious oxygen?) OK, um, let me talk to my partner and we'll try to arrange a time.
PM: OK.
an9ie: OK. B-
... and then she hung up on me without waiting for me to finish! GRAAAAAH. an9ie SMASH.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Six reasons to move interstate

We went to the airport last night to pick up my uncle, who was on his way home after visiting his children in Melbourne.

They told us his flight arrived at 11pm.

The arrivals board told us the plane was due at 11.40pm.

There were delays and it landed at 12.05am instead.

Oh, and then they had to wait for the flight to Sydney to depart, so the Melbourne plane could dock. It was 1am by the time the passengers disembarked. I could hear the airport parking fees ringing up in my head, ka-ching! Ka-ching!

I would have been irate but then my uncle handed me this:


and I lifted the lid and saw these:

All is forgiven!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Introducing...

Mr Toki Wartooth Bun-bun (name reached by consensus after hours of negotiation).

I'm a bit shy at first ...

... but curiosity soon gets the better of me.


Model sheet. Side view. Heehee. Sorry, that was an animation joke.

Front view.

Toki is on top of the laundry bench in these pictures. I don't know how he gets up there, but he's usually sitting on the washing machine or behind the clothes baskets when we come in to say hello.

Such a handsome fellow with his sleek black coat. There is a tiny white stripe on his nose and faint white socks on each paw.

MFC is going to do a little drive-around in his area on the weekend to look for "Lost Rabbit" signs, but he's kinda hoping he won't find any :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rabbits!

Two Sundays ago, MFC and I were driving back to his place when something black and shiny streaked past the car. MFC hit the brakes and missed it by a few inches.

As it was black, we didn't think it was a wild rabbit (the usual culprits around here who like playing chicken with your car). We hopped out of the car and went looking for the mystery creature (secretly hoping it was a puppy), but couldn't see or hear anything, so we continued up the driveway and forgot about it.

Tonight MFC was on his way home when the black thing streaked past his car again. He stopped and looked in the bushes, and found a little black rabbit! It didn't run away into a hole, but hopped around in a wishy-washy "I don't mind if I get caught" way. It only took a few minutes for MFC to swoop own on it and carry it back to the house. So it looks like the little guy could be someone's pet that has escaped (or been dumped).

MFC called me after he'd settled the rabbit in the laundry with some water and a jumper to lie on. Apparently it's a little thin and has some scratches from being attacked, but apart from that, is pretty healthy. It's also quite friendly and doesn't mind being picked up (unlike that demon, Mao. "Hand-reared" my ARSE, you stupid pet shop!)

MFC: We should think of a name for him.

an9ie: Him? How do you know it's a boy?

MFC: Because when I chased him, he grunted, and then squirted pee at me.

an9ie: LOL!

an9ie: Maybe we can call him Bun-bun!

MFC: I was thinking of something a little more grown-up.

an9ie: MR Bun-bun?

MFC: Something that doesn't sound like a three-year-old thought of it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A nice wedding party

MFC and I went to a wedding yesterday, held in a fancy Catholic chapel. A fancy Catholic chapel in a fancy Catholic girls' school in the middle of the city, no less.
On our way in, we noticed that high-rise apartments had been erected near the school grounds, and all their windows faced the school's swimming pool. I don't know how that got through the council, but ... ewww!
Quotes from the day:
MFC (sweating in his nice suit): I wish I had a comfortable slinky dress to wear.

an9ie: Well. the strapless bra that goes with it hurts like a bitch, if that's any consolation.

And later, when the dancing started at the reception:

MFC: You know, I had two years of dance lessons in school.

Yep, MFC is indeed a good dancer. Much better than I am, in fact, dammit. I kept stepping on his feet, but he was sweet enough to say it was because his feet were too big, and not because I am a klutz.

an9ie: And I also see you have managed to make up an entirely new kind of dance, which is 90% groping.

MFC: That was an accident!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time for a hearing test

My mother pops her head into my room and says:

"Angie, would you like some semen sponge cake?"

an9ie: WHAT? (Walks into kitchen.) I really hope you said, "cement sponge cake". (Looks suspiciously at baked goods on plate.)

Mum: CINNAMON! CIN-NA-MON SPONGE CAKE!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time to shift some pounds

Yes, I know we're on the metric system in Australia, but "pounds" just flows better in a sentence. (I also like to use terms that help my American readers feel at home. Hi guys!)

You know how in the Nancy Drew books they always, ALWAYS describe poor Bess as "plumply pretty" and George as "athletic" or "tom-boyish"?

Well, I'm a Bess who desperately wants to be a George. I saw a video of myself at the zoo (we could have all sorts of fun with that one, so I'll just let you use your imaginations) and the camera really does add 20 pounds. I think I could have painted myself grey and crept into the elephant enclosure, and no one would notice.

If cameras did not exist, there would be more happy women in the world.

I think I'm going to join a religion that forbids people from taking my picture, because they might capture my soul.

Take that, technology!

Monday, April 06, 2009

An evening with the Candyman

So MFC and I watched Candyman last night. We were pretty excited for most of the movie because we thought Gillian Anderson was playing the lead character (Helen Lyle).

When the credits rolled at the end, we found out that Helen was actually played by Virginia Madsen. Oh well.

Before the end credits, we kept saying things like, "She looks different in X-Files. Has she had a nose job since then?" and, "OMG! We're seeing Scully's boobies!" (Well, that's what I was saying. MFC just kept going, "Mmm ...")

This is what happens when you do not pay attention to the DVD cover.

It took a bit of cajoling from MFC before I agreed to watch the movie with him. As you all know, I have something of a love-hate relationship with horror. I love reading it (and sometimes, watching it, or at least reading the spoilers over at themoviespoiler.com--warning! This site is addictive!) but I am unable to withstand the mental trauma that my imagination doles out afterwards.

I mean, I was doing so well, falling asleep with the lights off, and not worrying about ceiling demons or vampires in the back yard or serial killers in the front yard or soul-eaters in the mirror.

an9ie: Fine, I will watch Candyman with you. But you have to promise not to scare me before or after the movie.

MFC:
Sure.

an9ie:
Or during the movie.
MFC: Damn!

an9ie:
I mean it. No creepy whispers, no waiting outside the toilet door and making scratching noises, and no hiding around corners waiting to jump out at me.

MFC:
Deal.

(4 minutes later ...)

Eerie whisper: Aaaaangie ... What's that noise, Angie? Ooh, it's getting louuuuuder.

an9ie: YOU COULDN'T WAIT FIVE MINUTES, COULD YOU?

Update (Tuesday, April 7th): OK, so I managed to fall asleep with the light on last night, but then I woke up at 5am for no reason and kept thinking Candyman was standing in front of my bed. I had to have my interrogation-strength reading lamp on until dawn broke. GAH.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Funny because it's true

MFC and I are walking down Oxford Street in Leederville with his mother and her partner.

an9ie: And down that street is the little sushi restaurant where [MFC] and I went on our first date.

an9ie: We might even go back there one day and re-live it.

MFC's mummy: Aw, how cute!

an9ie: Except this time he'll actually be nice to me. Ahahahahaaa!

MFC: Hey!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stupid brain! Why can't you send me nice dreams about unicorns instead?

This morning I turned off my alarm and snoozed for about 45 minutes. During that snooze I had a horribly vivid dream.

I was driving through a suburb in the hills, past a block of flats, and just for a moment, I looked over at the passenger seat and tried to pull a yellow plastic bag towards me. The bag was caught under something and diverted my attention from the road.

Then I felt my wheels go over something rigid, like a light pole or a long bit of pipe. Bump-bump.

I stopped the car and parked to the side. When I turned my head I saw a figure splayed out on the road.

I had run over a small Chinese schoolboy.

I raced towards him at the same time as his aunt and mother. They were wailing and sobbing, and my lungs clenched as I looked down at his crushed leg, flattened and bruised against the bitumen like an uncooked chicken wing*.

What had I done? I had destroyed his life and mine. My future flashed before my eyes and then immediately blanked out. There would be no bright future for me or him.

His mother looked up and me and started shouting. More and more people gathered, either staring at me, or the boy, who was taking shallow breaths, eyes closed.

This horrific tableau seemed to go on forever, and then, I don't know, maybe a siren went off in the background, or a crow cawed, or the sun hit my eyes in just the right spot, and I woke up.

The message is clear: avoid the Perth hills like the plague.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rodent must-read

Another brilliantly funny post from the inimitable Blandwagon. Bonus capybaras at the end. I especially like the bit that goes:

INTERVIEWER: Porcupines?

AL-MUNAJID: Pointy whores!

Heehee!

Honestly, dude, your true talents are wasted in your day-job. You should have your own newspaper column!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The best of starts

... leads to a productive day.

(Also, hi Sophie, who left a comment in the last post saying that this was the first sunrise she had seen in a while too :)

Remember how last September I was groaning about our busted reticulation and how I had to spend fruitless hours out on the lawn hand-watering it? (Which, although better than nothing, still tends to encourage shallow roots, according to Don Burke. By the way, I was so sad when they took Burke's Backyard off the air. I know it lives on in print and on the Web, but it's just not the same. Sigh.)

After months of hand-watering, and now that summer is over (great timing, huh? The hot days are still coming, though), our sprinkler system is finally fixed. I would pass on the name and number of our reticulation guy, but he's probably too busy sunning himself on his yacht in New Caledonia to pick up more work. I reckon that on a per hour basis, the man is getting paid more than most neurosurgeons.

He didn't replace any sprinkler heads though, so this morning my brother and I went to Bunnings for supplies, then came home and fixed all the heads that were blocked or just going crazy spurting (teehee--that word always makes me giggle like a schoolgirl) water everywhere, and now the lawn can diminish the earth's water supply, twice a week till the rains come, with minimal human intervention.

This means an9ies will no longer have to spend excess time on the lawn with a digital timer, a garden hose, and an expression of suffering. (When cars drove past, she would also pretend that she was not related to the hand holding the hose.)

So much work done, and it is not even noon. Hurrah!

I think I will reward myself by ordering some telescopic loppers (ratchet! Woo!) off the Internet. And some ratchet secateurs, and maybe even a ratchet screwdriver set. Trust me ladies, once you go the ratchet, you never go back. They are so easy on the hands.

Also, bougainvillea; as soon as I get my ratchet on, you're next.

Speaking of sleeping arrangements

I always find I sleep better in my own bed, as opposed to when I stay at MFC's. His bed feels like it has been filled with hard gym socks and wood chips. I toss and turn, unable to fund a comfortable spot, and wake up all irritated in the morning.

He loves his bed though. I don't know what we're going to do when we move in together.

MFC is also a rather fitful sleeper. When he comes to bed, he likes to launch himself onto his mattress, like someone throwing a saucepan at a stray cat in a Looney Tunes cartoon. He will then continue his aerial manoeuvres throughout the night, flinging himself into the air before flipping over and landing as softly as a zeppelin on a mine field.

One of the best sleeps I've had, while in the same bed as MFC, was in Germany, where we had those European-style beds. You know, the ones that have two single mattresses in a queen or king-size bed frame. Awesome. MFC could toss and turn as much as he liked and it didn't affect me. And it was fun having a visible line to point to when I said, "Stay on your side of the bed!" if he was being particularly irksome.

You can get these in IKEA, but MFC will not consider them. He says he doesn't like the hole in the middle and we'll be like those couples that don't love each other. Bleah. It's always the person who sleeps better that says that.

Seafoam sky

This morning I got up in time to catch an amazing sunrise.

This is a pretty big deal for me as I haven't seen a sunrise for months. I've been going to bed exhausted, falling asleep after an hour of tossing and turning, and then waking up the next day feeling like zombies had a party in my mouth.

But last night, last night I defeated all the odds, even though I got up to go to the bathroom, and frightened myself by looking between the hair over my eyes and thinking of that crazy little girl from the Ring, and then sleeping with the night light on (I say "night light", but it's a lot brighter than that, like the one Chief Wiggum sets up in Ralph's room in the Simpsons). Despite all these challenges, I got a good night's sleep last night!

I feel refreshed! My eyes are working and do not resemble limp cocktail onions floating in bony eye sockets. Amazing--I didn't realise it was possible to feel this way.

Then I looked out the window and saw this amazing sunrise, and I couldn't stay in bed any longer.


Beautiful. It looks so thick and substantial, like the world's been turned upside down and we're looking up at the sea/sand.

A few moments later, the monster bougainvillea in the corner of the garden hove into view as I looked around. Argh! I hate bougainvillea! They should only be grown in pots. Once you put them into the ground they ... are ... UNKILLABLE.


It's hedge-trimmer time!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dollhouse: first impressions

I'll put this in point form to demonstrate how my thoughts kept bouncing around while I was watching.

Also, you have to imagine me going, "SQUEEE!" at the end of each line.

  • Eliza Dushku is sexy dancing like when she went out clubbing with Buffy in that episode I'm too lazy to look up!
  • It's that assassin guy from Serenity!
  • Ooh! A sleazy nerd! Yay! (You gotta have at least one.)
  • Tahmoh Penikett!
  • A mention of Edward James Olmos!
Me = happy.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Giant nerd loves the lists, makes little red bag

Hello world. Meet an9ie. an9ie is a giant nerd who loves lists. Loves them.

And then she found a book about how to make your lists more effective! How to make lists called, "Projects" and "Next Actions" and "Waiting For" and "Someday/Maybe". How to have not too many and not too few, but just enough lists to make her feel like someone who has their life in order--a veritable wunderkind of organisation.

She loves her lists so much that she made a special bag for them. So that they don't get dirty! Or bent! Because she wants to take her lists everywhere with her. It is like being a crazy cat lady, only with little bits of cardboard.

So here it is, with the book that made it all happen. Big hugs to David Allen--the man is a genius.


I made the bag out of old t-shirt sleeves, after being inspired by this great book at the library called, "Generation T, 108 ways to transform a t-shirt", by Megan Nicolay. It was a nice, simple, soothing, hand-sewing project and a great way to feel productive while watching back-to-back episodes of Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy. Ooh, and how dreamy is Dr Owen Hunt*? Sorry, sorry, getting distracted.

The list bag is getting pimped as soon as i finds something to pimp it with.

* No, I will never be too old for schoolgirl crushes. In fact, I'm counting on being able to embarrass my children and grandchildren with them.

Conversations, some imagined, some not

An entirely plausible conversation between me and MFC:

an9ie: Sweetie, would you mind wearing this today? (Brings out mask of hot bass guitarist, doesn't matter which one. If you're wondering what I'm on about, read the previous post.)

MFC: Sure! But then you'll have to wear this mask. (Brings out Gillian Anderson mask from under the bed.)

And a real conversation I had with my brother today (well, I did most of the talking):

an9ie: (Walking back to the car after visiting the shops, and sees someone in their forties with learner plates.) Hey, that guy's a bit old to have L-plates.

an9ie's brother:
Maybe he's studying for his manual licence.

an9ie: Hmm, you know, you should get your manual licence too. I know most people drive automatics now, but you might be in a situation one day when knowing how to drive a manual would be really useful. Like ... like ... (racks brains) if you're stuck in some small town that only has really old cars, and you need to run away from flesh-eating zombies ... or serial killers ... or vampires ... you know what I mean?

an9ie's brother: (Rolls eyes when he thinks she isn't looking.)

Coldplay concert, short version

Concert was ten kinds of awesome. Regret not listening to more Coldplay songs and learning lyrics. A little like the morning of my neural computation exam. (I think I understood about 30% of that unit. Which is probably why I only knew the answers to about 30% of the exam and spent the rest of the time staring at the back of Chris's shirt. It had a light green ferny pattern on it. Oops, there I go, getting distracted again.)

Anyway, very jealous of Gwyneth Paltrow*. Also, bass guitarist Guy very hot. Now that I think abuot it, I thought Alex, the bass player from Blur was hot too. And Nicky Wire from Manic Street Preachers**. See trend emerging. Perhaps should learn to play bass guitar. Certainly no attractive male violinists spring to mind. Nah, just kidding. Didn't I just write a post about how much I love the violin? I still love you, my little violin!

Clocks! Woo! Yellow! Woo! Viva la Vida! Woo! Songs old and new! Woo!

Yellow balloons! Pretty confetti butterflies! Loved the outfits, painted instruments and overall theme. Lots of new ideas for arty stuff entered brain. I only hope it retains some memories tomorrow.

Need shower ... bed now. Talk later.

Update (Sunday, March 1st): I wish the stage at Burswood Dome was higher. My right calf and my neck are still sore from standing on my tip-toes and craning my neck to see. And we weren't that far away from the stage, either!

Update (Tuesday, April 7th): Hey, here's another review of the same concert on the Coldplaying website: http://www.coldplaying.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5862 and they mention my Twitter feed from that night!

* Perhaps not. I hear the man is a workaholic. Great for the fans, perhaps not so good for the family. Where do I find out about this stuff? Why, by browsing through that celebrated bastion of sterling journalism--Woman's Day!
** Speaking of Manic Street Preachers, there was a Coldplay song that reminded me a lot of their stuff. I must go back and listen to their Holy Bible album.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Before the Coldplay concert

Hmm, I'm actually not too excited about going to the Coldplay concert tonight. I think I used all my excitement up the day I bought the ticket (end of November). I mean, I even posted about it on Facebook, that's how excited I was. And now that I've had to wait so long, all my Coldplay-allocated-endorphins have grown old and died.

The sleep deprivation also does not help (this is not concert-related, it is more like an9ie-has-a-constant-pile-of-stuff-to-do-and-then-potters-around-till-1am-avoiding-it-related).

Well, I'll be there soon enough, feeling the buzz, aiming death glares at the opening acts so that they'll play faster, strategically aiming my pointy, pointy elbows outwards so that people don't crush me, and then before I know it I'll be looking up at the stage and my first thought will be, "OMG, I'm seeing Coldplay live!"

This will shortly be followed by, "WOW, THAT GUY'S BANGED GWYNETH PALTROW*."

Because I am classy like that.


* And hopefully, will continue to do so. It's always nice when celebrity marriages work out for the long term.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to attract my scorn and derision

Last week my sister walked past the All Foreign Languages bookshop in the city, and saw this in the window.

(For those of you who can't be bothered clicking on the link, the book's title was, "How To Attract Asian Women". Just typing it out now elicits the same reaction that I had when my sister told me the title: BWAHAHAHAHAAA!)

(Psst. In case you're new to this blog, my sister and I are both Asian ... and women, the last time we checked.)

Anyway, she did a double-take and was going to keep walking, but then thought, I REALLY have to see what "wisdom" and "secrets" this book imparts. So she went in, found it on the shelves and did a speed-read, which was punctuated with many guffaws and loud, "You have got to be SH*TTING ME"-type comments.

As expected, it is a rather pathetic mish-mash of tacky stereotypes and ridiculous urban legend assumptions.

Apparently the book has tips in it like (and I am paraphrasing here), "Asian women like men with short hair who are clean-cut."

Obviously the author has never met MFC, who not only has long hair, but (this morning, for example, nursing a hangover from a party we went to last night) is about as clean-cut as a wet hobo.

In addition, it makes sweeping comments about how Asian women are "submissive", and instructs men on how to act and dress to attract them. As if we were all the same model of Xbox. Once you enter the right cheat-code, TA-DAH! any one of us will be yours!

For a text that purports to teach you seduction techniques for women from a continent of more than 50 countries, in an area bounded by three oceans, populated by people with differing cultures and religions, it is a surprisingly slim volume.

To all the people who bought, "How To Attract Asian Women", I have wonderful news.

My debut novel, "Magic Beans: Send Me $200 And I Will Show You That Money Really Does Grow on Trees! (P.S. Money Not Guaranteed To Grow On Trees.)" will be coming out soon. I hope you all buy a copy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An end to solitude

My parents and little brother are coming home this weekend. Thankfully their flight arrives at a decent hour (i.e., there will be daylight, and I will not be driving around like a blinded mole trying to spot them outside the Arrival Hall).

Surprisingly, I've spent the past few weeks rather happily, even though I've been by myself. I thought I would be all alone and palely loitering without the noise and bustle of my family around me.

I did miss Mum's cooking and on a couple of nights, I may have had Coco Pops for dinner (I regret nothing!) But my time was kept full, spending time with MFC, going out to dinner with my sister, blogging, catching up on TV shows, reading, playing the violin, gardening, and performing all those little household chores that are never done, but continually renew themselves, phoenix-like.

Anyway, this is good. It means I'm OK to be on my own, if I have to. It means I like my own company. And I'm pretty damn fussy, so that means I can't be all that bad.

I am looking forward to seeing them though. My mother feeds me much more adequately than I ever could, nutrition and variety-wise.

Also, they will come bearing gifts. Shiny, new, electronic gifts.

Ah, cupboard love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time for another meme

I got this meme by e-mail today, from a lovely girl I shared a house with many moons ago (along with three other people).

1. What is your occupation right now?
IT Support, with art and writing as a sideline.

2. What colour are your socks right now?
I'm not wearing any, wearing socks is a no-no with open-toed shoes, don't you know?

3. What are you listening to right now?
The humming fans of two computers.

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Coco Pops for breakfast. Oh dear.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yep. We just say "manual" in Australia, though.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
My sister.

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
I sure do, she bakes yummy things!

8. How old are you today?
Early thirties (and that is all I will say on the matter).

9. What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
I don't really watch sport, but if I was channel-hopping and they showed kendo, I would probably watch that, for nostalgia's sake.

10. What is your favourite drink?
It varies according to time of day and season. Right now I could really go for a Bundaberg ginger beer.

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
I still do. Stupid genetics and premature greying.

12. Favourite food?
Hmm, again this varies from day to day. I will never refuse sweet and sour fish, if it's prepared properly (thin batter, and sauce made from scratch, not that neon-red stuff out of a bottle). Surprisingly, I quite like sweet and sour pork made with the neon-red stuff out of a bottle.

13. What is the last movie you watched?
The Dark Knight. It was OK (ooh, sacrilege!)

14. Favourite day of the year?
Any day that I get to sleep in and have nothing schedule for.

15. How do you vent anger?
I write a long, indignant blog post about the catalyst.

16. What was your favourite toy as a child?
I can name several that stand out in my memory, but don't have one picked out as a favourite: a wooden beagle on a leash whose legs made little circles in the air when you pulled him along, a Papa Smurf puppet, wooden building blocks, Lego (kept in a yellow tartan suitcase), my Magna-Doodle, a train set with a little elevator and a slide for passengers, a Strawberry Shortcake rag doll, a little red car that you could sit in and pedal, my cousins' Fisher-Price cash register (I was delighted to see this many years later at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green), the purple My Little Pony Unicorn, I think her name was Starlight, an old bell tower that we would climb up on and pretend was a pirate ship, and my bicycle.

17. What is your favourite season?
Spring.

18. Cherries or Blueberries?
Delicious, ripe cherries.

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?
Usually. It's nice to be acknowledged, although I suppose someone has to end the conversation sometime.

20. Who is the most likely to respond?
Oh, I don't plan to send this to anyone, although I'll put it on the blog, and if anyone would like to give it a go, I'd love to read theirs!

21. Who is least likely to respond?
It doesn't matter. See number 20.

22. Living arrangements?
Living at home with my family, saving lots of money, and alternating between an existence of hilarity and frustration.

23. When was the last time you cried?

***
GREY'S ANATOMY SPOILER COMING UP***

Last week. I was watching Grey's Anatomy and got all teary when Eric Stoltz's character was executed by lethal injection ("Stairway to Heaven"). I lurve you, Eric!

*** GREY'S ANATOMY SPOILER ENDS***

24. What is on the floor of your closet?
Shoes, a bag of clothes to give away, some old artwork that I should file away properly, and a basket filled with kendo shinai.

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to?
See number 20.

(I could send a copy to Nicky, but she takes months to reply to a message on Facebook. So what chance would this have? I hope your ears are burning, Nicky. Where's my reply?)

26. What did you do last night?
Read updates on Twitter. Played with the demo version of Crayon Physics. Caught up on Penny Arcade comics. Watched episodes of Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy that I had recorded. Tore myself away from Bubble Spinner so I could attend to some laundry, then practised the violin till the washing was done.

27. What are you most afraid of?
If I've read or watched any horror, I have a lot of trouble sleeping that night and have to have the light on. Night fears may include, "There's a vampire in the closet!", "Creepy chick from the Ring is standing next to my bed!", "Poltergeist floating on the ceiling, waiting to pounce!", and, "Serial killer in the backyard!"

I have managed to sleep with the light off all this week and am very proud of myself.

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?
Plain, with sauce. As horrific as it sounds, I really like the McDonald's hamburger (it's just their cheeseburger with no cheese).

29. Favourite dog breed?
Dachshund, but I don't want to own a pure-bred one because of their back problems; I had enough heartache with my last one. On the days that his back was bothering him, he couldn't move and would just look up at you pitifully from his bed. I would have to take him to the vet for pain-killer injections.

30. Favourite day of the week?
Saturday, of course. Hooray for sleep-ins! (The anticipation on Friday night is also good.)

31. How many states have you lived in?
Two. New South Wales and Western Australia.

32. Diamonds or pearls?
Carnelians. I don't wear much jewellery, although I like admiring it in shop windows and on people.

33. What is your favourite flower?
Large white orchids with a pink blush.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I found the perfect diet

Warning: side-effects may include amputation and death.

So, what you do is you catch a bacterial infection. One that's hard to pin down.

Symptoms (starting on the evening of Saturday, January 31st):

  • A throat tickle (where you keep hem-hemming because it feels like there's something thick and oogy in there that doesn't want to come out).
  • Five of the lymph nodes on one side of your neck swell up to the size of quail eggs, all in a row, like little ducks following their mummy. They flood you with much pain and are very tender (but not in the romantic sense) and hot, restricting you from bending over to tie your shoelaces (burning pain), turning your head to check your blind spot when you're driving (hot hot pain in the city), and lying on fewer than three pillows when you sleep (if you disregard this rule, burning pain will follow). It feels like you have been stung by five bees in synchronised flight.
  • Your boyfriend restricting any physical contact with the excuse, "Your skin feels like molten lava." (Unfortunately it is the middle of summer, otherwise he would be leeching my warmth, trust me.)
Follow this up on Wednesday morning (the soonest I could get an appointment), with a visit to a distracted GP who is trying to shuffle through patients as quickly as possible.

She thinks nothing of the fact that you have had a fever for the past five days, orders a full blood count test, and tells you to take a couple of paracetamol four times a day. (Paracetamol, pffft. They did nothing! NOTHING.)

On Wednesday evening you take a turn for the worse. Every night after that brings fever and night sweats which smell awful (like sweaty fruit juice, because that is all you've had the strength to consume this past week), followed by savage chills that a doubled-up comforter fails to subdue (I did say we were in the middle of summer, right?)

On the plus side, you've lost 2kg in four days!

On Friday you call the doctor's office, as instructed (you called on Thursday as well, but the doctor wasn't in, and no one else there gave a sheet), to tell them that the fever is worse and now you are getting bad chills, accompanied by fatigue and muscle pain.

The doctor passes on a message via the chirpy nurse, telling you that your blood test has come back normal, and to come in next week if you still have swelling or fever, which would make that about ten days of mysterious lymph node swelling and fever. YEAH, RIGHT.

At this point you are too tired to argue and resolve to spend the weekend in bed, hoping that you will be able to drive yourself to the emergency department if you start to hallucinate, or become too weak to go to the toilet by yourself. (Yep, that's what I was thinking. Obviously the fever was boiling essential brain parts.)

Luckily your bossy sister calls in at lunchtime, and is alarmed that her sibling a) has been ill for so long, and b) looks like an extra from a Rob Zombie movie.

Sister: You look AWFUL.

an9ie: What do you mean?

Sister: Your skin is really pasty and you have these high spots of colour in your cheeks.

an9ie: (Well, let's not hold back or anything, Missy.) Of course my skin is pasty! I have an indoor desk job! (As opposed to an outdoor desk job? Remember, high fever = brain not work good.)

Sister: I'm very worried about you. I asked my doctor friend about your symptoms and it sounds like you have a bacterial infection. I don't want you to end up like that Brazilian model who had to have her hands and feet amputated and then died anyway.

an9ie: ...

Sister: I'm going to make an appointment for you with another doctor and I'll take the afternoon off work to take you.

an9ie: (I do like my hands and feet.) OK.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the new doctor put me on antibiotics, and after the first couple of doses I started feeling better right away. If I had listened to the first GP I visited, and if I didn't have such a pushy, caring sister, I would have spent the weekend confined to my bed, shivering and rambling (more than usual).

In fact, I might not have gotten out of bed at all, and a few weeks later, MFC, finally noticing my absence, would break in to find my dessicated corpse huddled under a comforter.

I love my bossy sister.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I am the Grim Aquatic Reaper

Norm died earlier this week. I noticed he was becoming sluggish and letting those cheeky snails crawl on him, then he started going off his food and it went swiftly downhill from there, I guess.

He died on his feet, so I actually didn't realise until the next day; I just thought he was standing in his favourite corner, waiting for dinner as usual.

Poor little guy. He didn't smell good and I buried him quickly in the backyard, with an "I'm sorry," and a "goodbye".

Now, I know I will sound awful and heartless, but for a few seconds I was considering just double-bagging him and, well, ... it was bin night and all. It's hard for me to be sentimental about a pet that you can't cuddle. He had a good life, I hope, with a varied diet and plants and a castle and snails for company. His antics amused me and I would chat to him sometimes. Rest in peace, little Norm.

To prove I am not a monster with ice in my veins, let me tell you that I was a wreck when my dog died, five years ago. I mourned him for two weeks, until my red, teary eyes felt like burnt coals in my head, and then I watched Finding Nemo, and was traumatised all over again.

***FINDING NEMO SPOILERS FOLLOW***

It was that scene at the beginning of the movie, where Marlin comes home to find there's only one egg left, and Nemo's Mum and all the other eggs have been eaten. Marlin holds Nemo's egg tenderly and says something like,"I promise I'll always take care of you and protect you."

At this point I start bawling to my ex-boyfriend, who is watching the movie with me, and in between gasps and sobs I wail, "You can promise that, but you CAN'T ALWAYS DELIVER. Waah-aah-aah! Hoo-hoo-hoo!"

***SPOILERS END***

It's a funny story in hindsight but man, what a day that was, to top off an awful fortnight.

Damn you and your tearjerkers, Disney!

Anyway, I confessed my plans (the plans that were only briefly considered and weren't followed through) for Norm to MFC and he got rather indignant. "I suppose when I die, you're going to stuff me in a plastic bag and put me in the bin too!" he huffed.

an9ie: "Don't be silly, you wouldn't fit in the bin."

Anyway, my track record with aquatic fauna is not good. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Doggies! On stamps!

Check out this stamp set of Australian working dogs:


Look at that beagle's cute face! I was once tempted to apply for a job with Australian Quarantine, just so I could run around with a sassy sniffer beagle all day.

Damn it, Australia Post! How dare you put cute dogs on my postage stamps? Do you know how hard it makes it for me to use them? Stick to the wildflowers and birds next time!

Of course, hoarding is just silly. To compromise, I decided to take a photo of the doggie stamps, and then use them. Of course, I only decided this after I'd used half the pack.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year for 2009!

I'm spending a quiet day on my own this year. Most of the family is overseas, and I've just had a lovely dinner with my sister at the Mussel Bar on Friday night, so we didn't make more plans to catch up.

Just to go off on a little tangent: at the restaurant, we used the Entertainment Card and got $40 off the bill! That's two mains and a starter reduced from $76.50 to $36.50. The food was good, and the service was incredibly, memorably efficient and polite. Because of this, and the embarrassingly small amount we had to pay, we decided to leave a tip.

That's right, you heard me--two parsimonious Chinese females actually tipping, in a country where tipping is not the custom (waiters here earn a fairly decent minimum wage, so you can come to Australia and lose the guilty feeling that your waiter cries himself to sleep every night on a bed of hessian sacks and rat droppings).

I won't be totally alone tomorrow night, I'll have Mao AKA His Pampered Bunny Highness with me, and MFC is coming over so that we can have a nice New Year's Day dinner. Shops and restaurants will be closed tomorrow (it's Australia Day as well, a public holiday), so I went to my local Chinese restaurant and got roast duck, roast pork and combination yee mein (birthday or long-life noodles). Hopefully I'll get a phone call from the folks as well.

What else? No cleaning the house, sweeping the floor on New Year's Day, in case you sweep your luck away. No washing hair for the same reason. Something red to wear--check. New shoes--check. That's as far as I bother to take it. I would set off fireworks and firecrackers if I could, but you can't mumblegrumblemumble buy them in Australia.

I know it's just superstition, but I find it fun, following these "rules". They remind me of who I am and where I'm from. (I said something similar to MFC yesterday, about how I like to do these things to remind me I'm Chinese, and he said, "You could just look in the mirror!" Pffft.)

I'll leave you with a movie and some photos of a lion dance from last Chinese New Year.

It was such a great day, and I was fortunate enough to spend it with close family, in the country that I grew up in.

The band gearing up.
A string of firecrackers goes off and then the cymbals and drums start.


Here comes the yellow lion!

And the black one!

A side shot of both.

So what happens is the lions dance all through the house and garden, and then they fall asleep for a while. Using some clever levers and what-nots located in the head of the lion, the man at the lion's head makes the eyelids flutter and the nostrils twitch, while the guy(s) behind him flicks the body to make it look like the lion is taking slow deep breaths.

While all this is going on, the guys inside the lion suit are also doing something very secret, and one day I will get all my photos together and show you what it is.

(I really need a secretary or a PA. Then I'd get all my travel blogging done!)

While the lions are sleeping, kids come up to them and pet them gingerly (or are thrust next to them by parents thinking, Kodak moment! KODAK MOMENT!)

Speaking of pushy parents and Kodak moments ...

"Eeee! Hurry up, mother! This is SO embarrassing!
Are you holding my camera right? Because I'm not posing again!"

Then the lions wake up and accept the offerings of the household: in this case, 8 cans of beer, some green vegetables and lucky fruit, and red packets of money.

video
A little movie so you can see and hear what it was like to be there.
This is 30MB though, so you decide if it's worth the bandwidth.


HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Grey's Anatomy, Season 5, Episode 13 - Stairway to Heaven

This post will be of no interest to anyone but myself, and any Grey's Anatomy fans.

Note: spoilers abound, so turn away now unless you're up to date with Grey's.

So I've just seen Season 5, episode 13, "Stairway to Heaven" and William Dunn's (Eric Stoltz) death scene made me bawl like a lady filled with too many lady hormones.

I don't think I've cried this much since Denny died.

Oh no, wait, there was HotKyle/Bomb Squad Leader's death too. I bawled like a seal during that one.

Anyway, in this episode Stoltz was playing a serial killer. An evil, mind-game-playing serial killer.

And he still made me cry! Damn that man. He is such a good actor.

(Small bit of trivia: he was going to play Marty McFly in Back to the Future but was let go because it was felt that he was too intense for the part.)

Anyway, whenever I see Eric Stoltz on-screen I fall into TV crush-land all over again.

Psst, Eric Stoltz, just say the word, and I will leave MFC in a flash. He has often said he would do the same thing for Gillian Anderson, so that makes it OK. Lots of crush-love, an9ie.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tralala!

Rejoice, for an9ie is back on the Internets!

I have a cartful of stories and a truckload of photographs. And if I get off my slothful behind for long enough, I might even post some.

I also came back to a pleasant surprise. This weekend is going to be a long one, because Monday is Australia Day! Woohoo!

My family is away for a couple of weeks (I had a joyful reunion of about six hours with them before I took them to the airport). They will be celebrating Chinese New Year in our country of origin.

I wish I could be there, I need a holiday to recover from my holiday.

On the plus side, I can eat whatever I want (I'm thinking of pancakes and bacon for dinner tonight), without my mother looking at me through narrowed eyes and going, "Are you really going to eat that?"

On the minus side, on Wednesday night I slept with the light on. Because the boogeyman and an axe murderer were rustling plastic bags outside my bedroom window.