Tag Archives: random

Friday Five: Fun factoids

Ah, I do love a good alliterative headline!

Today you get to learn five new things about me.

  • I have a double eyelid on my left eye. But not on my right.
  • I entered a poetry contest when I was 13 and won a trip to the US. Only it turned to be a scam – and a pretty lame one at that. What’s the point?
  • One year, I was placed in the second-lowest reading group in the class after being assessed reading a chapter to everyone, rather than the usual one-on-one reading comprehension test (I HATED that particular teacher, not least for this!). Usually I was always in the top group, easy. That was the level of disconnect between my reading and verbal skills.
  • One of my first gigs was writing for a website for uni students (I don’t think anybody still uses the term “online magazine”, but that’s what it was). One of my assignments was to write a tongue in cheek piece, “You know you’re drunk when…” And the editor LOVED  it – she asked for more in that vein. I was still in high school. I was 15. Or maybe 16. I’d never been drunk in my life; I was a geek; I’d had one sip of dark beer in my entire life, and hated it.
  • I have never tried (nor do I intend to) chicken feet. Renounce my Chinese badge already.

What’s one thing I don’t know about you?

Teenagers: What a different 30 years makes

I happened to stumble across this infographic earlier this week.

Facts that stood out to me (as being either surprising or interesting) were:

  • Lower high school graduation rates today
  • Fewer teens getting their driving licence
  • Fewer teens using cannabis
  • Many more teens using contraception
  • Creative and social degrees featuring more in today’s occupations of choice

Did anything on the list surprise you?

I may never win an Oscar or Grammy, but…

I sure would win a prize for purveyor of unattractive baked goods

I find baking cathartic and the end result both surprising and delicious. But pretty? Food presentation is not my forte. And given how fast it disappears in our household of two … meh. Hence why recipe posts here are sporadic.

I sure would win a prize for planning

Okay. Sometimes I view life like a chess game. In probability trees. Almost infinite paths of ‘what if’. Forewarned is forearmed, I say.

I sure would win a prize for failing at remembering what I spend

Hence why I spend a few minutes every couple of days, when I log on to internet banking, to check and categorise our latest transactions. Even that sometimes is a struggle. And that’s why I don’t use cash.

I sure would win a prize for parking fails

I have parallel parked once in my life. During my test. (I am still the only person I’ve heard of EVER to have been asked to parallel park during their driving test). I hate parking. Almost more so than lane changing (I’m with Marge Simpson. Changing lanes is for rally drivers, she sez.)

I sure would win a prize for least put together female in the western world

I check my reflection before I leave the house. After that I do not look closely in mirrors during the course of the day. I don’t quite know why; it’s a weird kind of phobia. It started back in high school, when I simply refused to ever look at myself in the bathroom mirrors. Suffice to say I had some body image issues, and today I think that persists a bit even though my skin has cleared up. I am friends with my home mirror, and that’s about it.

That said, I do check myself out in car windows. The picture is much more forgiving. And something about the curve shortens my long, rectangular face.

What useless things would you win at?

Friday Five: Things I should really be doing

Rediscover sprinting

I’m actually pretty lazy with my running. And I know that my usual routine isn’t really pushing me (which is deliberate, because when I make things feel too much like work, I lose motivation). But working a few sprints into my runs is both fun and good for stretching my capabilities. I’m not like T – he’s an ex-sprinter despite being enormous and trying to outpace him is always an exercise in frustration – but was reasonably quick in high school myself. By that, I mean I was more of a middle distancer, but usually put in a respectable showing at the short races on Athletics Day every year, and was always on the class relay team. (I think I did around a 15-16 second 100m…which would probably be more like 20 seconds nowadays, if that.)

Finally got T to put those new $200 trainers to good use over the crazy sunny Easter break

Not eating so many damn instant noodles

I have a major weak spot for Yum Yum shrimp flavoured noodles, and they’re only 50c a packet. Lately I’ve been making it through as many as four packs in a week. I need to bring this phase to an end, STAT and take a break.

Stop being so all over the place with my blog

And hone in on “my thing” (whatever that is) already. But that’s not going to happen.

Stock up on ladythings when they’re on sale

If there’s one thing I resent paying for, it’s pads and tampons. I only ever visit that aisle in the supermarket when absolutely necessary. BUT. I know I’m going to need them every month. So it only makes sense I pick up extra when discounts are going.

Drink more water

I’m generally pretty good on keeping my H20 intake up. But lately work has been crazy and toilet breaks/lunch breaks/getting up to refill my glass are just interruptions. (Incidentally, did anyone else have a horrible first day back after the Easter weekend? Mine was all headachey and mopey.)

What’s something you’re working on right now?

 

Friday Five: Odds and ends

  • Sometimes I pick up a book I’ve just finished and reread passages at random just for something to read.
  • Last week I watched 10 Things I Hate About You for the first time in years. It’s one of my favourite movies – the Heath Ledger bleacher/stone step serenade scene is one of the best and the location is just breathtaking. The outtake with the band playing on the roof of the most seaside building on the school grounds? Amazing. (And I didn’t realise just how many of the cast went on to bigger and better careers.)
  • Recently I have experienced outstandingly epic incidents of corporate douchebaggery (no, not by my own company). Please God, if I ever sell my soul to a big corporation, let it be for one I truly believe in. Friends have gone into Big 4 firms and it worries me when I discuss examples of said corporate douchebaggery and they barely bat an eye. The brainwashing starts early. It’s scary.
  • I have no problem talking about money on this blog or to people in the real world, but when it comes to actual transactions? Not so much. I hated dealing with money matters when flatting and I was head of the house. And my first experience dealing with paid contributing writers was no different – I got all jittery and sweaty during the process of hashing out details.
  • Sometimes I wonder if I am in entirely the wrong kind of line of work for my personality type. I am a good listener. Not a good talker. And while I love writing, I am not so good at the people side of things. I may not be quite as awkward as Dr Park from House (who doesn’t love Charlyne Yi?!), and while I’ve come to be a lot more comfortable in my own skin overall, I am still awfully uncomfortable around other human beings. I would probably be more suited to a heads down, bums up kind of job – programming, analysis, something like that. But neither my interests nor my strengths lie in those areas.

Link love (Powered by scallops and samosas)

Lately I’ve found myself in some rather foreign situations.

Taxiing multiple times a week (in a day, even)

How do they arrive almost instantly after I hang up the phone to call for one? We’re out in the burbs; it’s not like there are rows of cabs lined up around the corner.

The (horse) races

I find this a strange, kind of anachronistic concept – very old school English – associated with a certain class of person, one to which a girl from the immigrant working class, who finds taxi chits and fancy restaurants daunting, most certainly does not belong.

Yacht sailing

Again, obviously such a moneyed activity. An enjoyable one, though. Also, very, very masculine. It was particularly interesting to see that the majority of fellow sailors were very courteous and friendly, in a crowded harbour, there was also anger – in one case outright yelling from boat to boat, and in another, simply holding up a peeved sign as our yacht passed by.

Anyway, March has been madness on the events front and I’m hoping for/looking forward to a quieter, calmer April. It’s great to get out of the office from time to time but it does mean I get behind on all the other things I have to do.

On a slightly different note… I know I’m often a ring-in, a seat-filler if you like, at events. Sometimes this works out quite nicely (in one case, dinner in a very quirky location and lots of freebies).

But I’ve gotta wonder; do planners overbook for capacity? If so, by how much? And what does that mean when they STILL need to fill spots at the last minute?It has to be said, however, that too often they go overboard. I can’t count the number of inane event invitations that come our way that have zero value – publicity for boring product version 3.1.1.0, or with a deathly dull speaker nobody outside your company cares about – even with the most copious amounts of free and awesome food, there just isn’t any way to justify taking the time out to go.

WORK

I’m at Twenties Hacker pondering when it makes sense to freelance – and when it doesn’t pay

One of the most balanced/nuanced takes on passion work vs plain old work I’ve ever read, from Get Rich Slowly. Two thumbs up

And at Blog Maverick: Follow where your time and effort is, not necessarily your passion

Young and Thrifty shares the worst jobs she did as a teenager

At Journalistics, some tips for bringing online networking into the real world

At Ms Career Girl, a counterintuitive way of dealing with workplace enemies

FOOD

How to plan dinner,at Dinner: A Love Story

Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. Enough said. From $120 Food Challenge.

What looks like a straightforward, three-grain bread recipe, by Liberal Simplicity.

LIFE, ETC

Young and Thrifty shares the reasons that led her to quit Facebook.

From the new crop of Stratejoy bloggers, a post on analysis paralysis and discovering values

Yes and Yes features a reader who’s childless by choice

Married with Luggage explains how to go about starting a kickass book club

And finally, from the Atlantic: I didn’t tell Facebook I was engaged, so why is it asking about my fiance?

This totally freaks me out. I will be really unnerved if this happens to me – I am still “in a relationship” on Facebook and plan to keep my status the same until we actually get hitched, and have participated in virtually no wedding/engagement talk anywhere on Facebook since.

The ring thing: Commitment does not equal bling


I do not wear any jewellery. I don’t even have my ears pierced. I take 10 minutes to get ready in the morning (low-maintenance WHAT).

So, I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a girly girl.

Yet for some reason I insisted T needed a ring to propose to me.

I didn’t think about what I would actually do with that ring.

Let me tell you, it took a long time to get remotely used to sporting a new, foreign, object on my hand.

So I totally identified with RINGPOST, who wrote in to A Practical Wedding about how she wasn’t really down with the whole wearing of the ring.

How did I solve this?

Well, I half-ass a few things in life.

Car parking.

House cleaning.

And yes, ring wearing.

I try to remember to put it on most weekday mornings. But I generally skip it on weekends, when we’re often out and about doing more active things, and cleaning the house, and whatnot.

(It’s not that I don’t like the thing. I wasn’t sold on it initially, true, but I warmed to its individuality; it’s not your usual one gem on a plain silver band, and it has a family history – and its shape means it can’t inconveniently snag on anything.)

So yeah, I wear my ring. Just not all the time. It’s probably a 70/30 or so ratio.

How do you feel about wearing your relationship status on your hand? Or, what will you admit to half-assing?

Hello, 2012

Orbs explode just over my head, filling the visible sky overhead in radiant reds and brilliant blues that no photo can truly render.

I’m dancing in a $10 poncho, just sturdy enough to last the two nights.

The crowd goes wild after chanting out the countdown, echoing around the natural amphitheatre of Waterways.

How did I get here?

Slopping through 15 minutes of ankle deep mud, including a direct hit to the eye by some douchebag jumping up and down in the stinking filth. Yes, I expected to get muddy. I’ve just made it past the gates for the second time, haven’t I? But I sure as fuck was not planning on an eye infection to boot. Lucky these contacts are due to be ditched.

What the hell am I doing here? I’m Miss Priss. I don’t care how awesome the lineup at Woodstock was; I never would have survived. I’ll never make it to a Glastonbury. And if we’d been camping this NYE, I probably would’ve written off my ticket and stayed in Auckland. Thankfully, we had a house and hot showers to return to.

So I settle into the squelching miniature swamp of my sandshoes – still damp from yesterday’s gig – and hold my tongue as the muck sloshes in over the sides and between my toes.

I turn down all offers of booze and drugs. Even if I was into it, I need all my wits about me to navigate this swamp in the descending darkness. I don’t want to faceplant in the brown slush, or fall on my ass like the guy in front of me. And I’ll stay away from the massive mudslide on the other side of the hill.

We’re hollering along to Shihad, the quintessential kiwi stadium rock band. Comfort Me, Run, Pacifier.

Shapeshifter’s on, bringing the “mudstep”.

Optimus Gryme turns up the dirty dirty dnb.

I read a brilliant op-ed once that asserted “dubstep never got anyone laid”. It’s true. The shuffling and spazzing that passes for dub dancing is decidedly unsexy.

My poncho is slowly ripping down the centre of the chest, and I have to physically hold it together with my hands when the rain starts. Apart from Homegrown, the weather has been crap at all the outdoor concerts I’ve been to – Big Day Out, the Foos, and now Coro Gold.

The three skinny security guards stationed next to me start dancing. too. A drunk guy approaches and envelops me in a bear hug. I hold a can of Smirnoff for another while he videos the band on his phone, nearly nutting himself on the fence post while trying to get a better angle. He never comes back for that drink. Countless more rock up, unzip and empty their bladders a metre away.

I’m counting down (5, 4, 3, 2,1) by myself. I’ve decided to stay up on the hill where it’s relatively clean and I can rock out to just the acts that I do like. T is off with the others in the pit, getting his arm potentially broken (trouble always finds him). It’s the perfect way for an introvert to see in the new year – surrounded by others, yet alone.

On tradition

This may sound like blasphemy. But we are not putting up a Christmas tree.

I'm quite partial to blue and silver as a seasonal theme

As a child I wanted one so bad. And we didn’t get one until I was about 15. I longed for even the smallest of trees, with even one present under it. But therein lay one of the quirks of my overly frugal parents. Thankfully, we only have one set of cousins in New Zealand, so awkwardly answering the question “What did you get for Christmas?” with “Nothing” wasn’t as repetitive as it could have been.

I even had a real tree, one year,  courtesy of my flatmate in 2006. Turns out they’re dreadful things, shedding needles everywhere and emitting particles that zero in on my sinuses… to say nothing of disposing them.

So now it seems I’ve come full circle. Neither of us especially wants one, and neither of us can be bothered with something we’re so ambivalent about. (Especially given that we don’t spend Christmas at our own house)..

It’s the kind of thing I suppose we’d get into for the kids, when we have kids. The question at that point will be do we tell them about the Tooth Fairy and Santa?