Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Devastation at home

Terrible accounts from survivors and rescue workers. Unimaginable suffering.

I hope the survivors and loved ones of those who perished will recover in time.

Sources of photos: ABC, and TheAge

Difficult to imagine that entire towns no longer exist. The Boy and I went for a long drive in the country on our first date in 1997 and stopped for dinner at a good friend's house in Kinglake. That house is no longer standing, and neither is most of Kinglake. Our friend moved away a few years ago and is safe. Many others were not so lucky.

Friday, 6 February 2009

26 Random Things You Don't Really Need To Know About Me

Banged this together for a viral thing going round in Facebook. Have laffed out loud at a few friends' lists. Gotta love a good chuckle now and again.

1. The second toe on both feet is fully 1 cm longer than the big toe. Yes, I am a monkey.

2. My feet are completely flat. ZERO arches. Yes, I am a monkey-duck.

3. I can't get enough of books and bookstores. I am a monkey-duck-bookworm.

4. I have acalculia and try to say it like it's some condition I can't help when really, I'm just seriously shit-house at mental math.

5. I was a fat bastard when I was a toddler. Fell sick when I was 4. Refused food, then water, and started wasting away. Mum freaked out when the docs couldn't do nothing so of course, she brought me to a witch-doctor (as you do), who told her that I had been possessed by a white tiger spirit residing in one of the trees on our plantation. They bathed me in some flowery stuff and over time, I recovered - right until I met The Boy who is lily-white and is a tiger (chinese horoscope). Hey Witch-doctor! *failure buzzer noise*.

6. I am eternally grateful for having found the love of my life and that he is an amazing guy, and my best friend.

7. I love that my mum told The Boy early in our dating days that she too had watched the violent kungfu movie last night, and then looked him in the eye and with a little smile said, "I like the violence." I love that The Boy promptly laffed his butt off.

8. I love that I have a mum who sleeps with a sword under her bed (oh so cleverly concealed as a walking stick), and the fact that she reckons she'll be right with that fine piece of metal in her hand against an assailant despite her 5 feet nothing status.

9. I love that my mum places hexes on people whom she thinks are dodgy. Atta girl! *thumbs up*

10. I am eternally grateful for having wonderful sisters.

11. I have a bag fetish. A couple of years ago, a friend made me count them all. The result did not at all reveal me to be a freak. (Phil: you're never getting an updated count)

12. When I was in kinder, I had an eyelash-batting crush on a little Indian boy by the name of Subrilu. I used to comb his hair with my Hello Kitty comb. WTF??

13. I love tea and wish T2 would freakin open a store in Shanghai, partly so their staff would stop asking me if I'm opening a cafe whenever I re-stock when back in Melbourne. Then I wouldn't have to explain that I'm stocking up since I'm living in Shanghai, following which there is the inevitable uncomfortable silence then - Aussies being the wonderful people that they are who just can't help themselves - the smart-arse comment, "Ya know, there's quite a bit of tea in Choina" *smirk*. Green teas, not black teas!!

14. I derive an inordinate amount of joy from peeling price tags off books.

15. I have only one regret in life so far - that I didn't have the guts to quit my Commerce degree after first year to hop over to the Arts faculty. Bloody Commerce - ceteris paribus: what the hell kind of bs IS that?!

16. Wish I were a super duper geek freak genius who worked for Pixar or Google.

17. Reckon I should have been a lab technician - minimal contact with people, highly detailed tasks. Yes, please!

18. Not working is every bit as bees-kneesy as I thought it would be and then some - enjoying it while I can.

19. Wish I could time travel. Would travel back and forth, but would especially love to see the future once humans are able to fold space and travel the universe. Star Trek is real dammit!

20. Wish I had a replicator and a holodeck. Nerd alert!

21. I am grateful that I am easily amused and often find the stupidest things funny.

22. I fidget heaps - a friend reckons that's how I stay slim. Hey, whatever works.

23. I have been around 48-50kgs for the last 15 years, but have, in the last year or so, noticed a slowly-but-surely widening of the butt, with an accompanying upward creep on the weighing scale. Very disturbing (especially when I think about some of the wide-loads in the extended family) *shudder* Must fidget more.

24. I am exhausted by watching and hearing other people's children run around, and am worried about having to contend with my own some day (is it a bad thing to lojack a kid?).

25. I reckon the obsession with the colour pink among young girls is creepy.

26. In kinder, a classmate tried to steal Shorthand, my teddy bear (it had little arms), out of my school bag. I clocked her one in the eye. It felt great.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Two Castles from England

A couple of months ago, I shipped two suitcases from Melbourne to Shanghai via a freight company that I might name later (I will wait till I have my goods in my hands before doing so).

Yesterday, I received a call from the China staff of said company and the following conversation ensued:

FREIGHT HO: Halo! dis ssssrkjlrkjs slkejljer slkjskjrjs rrssshkkkttt (very fast speech in incomprehensibly accented 'English')
ME: I beg your pardon? Who are you again?
FREIGHT HO: ssdkljrslk srlkjss sssss (again, very fast speech).
ME: I'm sorry, could you speak a little slower? I'm having trouble understanding your accent.
FREIGHT HO: sssdkjhsdlf sssddlkjdsg sddffss (again, very fast speech).
ME: I'm sorry, did you say [Freight Company]? (I took a guess)
ME: Ah. Ok. Yes?
(The rest of the conversation on her side remained pretty much unintelligible, with much tooing-and froing between us as above, but I will skip most of the BS for expedience).
FREIGHT HO: We delivery two castles to you tomorrow.
ME: Castles?
ME: You mean, you are delivering two suitcases, yes?
FREIGHT HO: Yes. Two castles from England.
ME: No. Not England. We shippped two suitcases from Melbourne, Australia to Shanghai. Not England. Please confirm that you have the correct shipment.
FREIGHT HO: aaaaaaaaaah... I don know where shipped from.
ME: Ok. (I'm used to Chinese service and don't even bother reacting to this one)
ME: Please tell me my reference number (trying to force her to check that she had the correct shipment).
FREIGHT HO: aaaaaaaahhhh.... We delivery two castles tomorrow.
ME: What is my reference number?
FREIGHT HO: We delivery two castles tomorrow.
ME: Stop. Listen. What is my reference number?
FREIGHT HO: We delivery two castles tomorrow.
ME: Ok. My reference number is [Number]. Please check that you have the correct shipment.
FREIGHT HO: We delivery two castles tomorrow.
ME: Ok. Whatever.

Come 11:00am today (if they show up), I might be coming into a couple of castles from England *whooo hoooo!*