Monday, February 28, 2005

Backpacker extraordinaire

...or so I would be if I'd been to every part of every country shaded on this map. For instance, I've been to Seattle and San Francisco but the whole of the USA gets filled in with red. Still, impressive-looking isn't it? (Found at Single Skirtedly).

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Freebies for me

There was a huge street carnival in town last weekend.
Of course, we missed most of it.

We did wander through after lunch, but we didn't actually see much; there was a thrash band, a DJ, a less-thrashy band and several food stalls. (Once upon a time food stalls were special, because they sold ethnic food you couldn't get otherwise, unless it was cooked at home. Nowadays though, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Indian eateries are more common than fish 'n' chip shops. I can't see the point in going out of my way to buy stuff from a street stall when I know very well I can eat the same thing in more comfort any day of the week.)
Oh, and there were lots and lots of people. I kept wondering what the hell all these people were there for - surely not just the live music and the opportunity to balance a plate of curry on one's lap.

So the only thing we had to show for an hour's worth of squeezing between bodies, was a packet of panty liners.

See, there was a woman giving them out to selected females in the crowd. Hopefully it didn't mean that she thought I could really do with a couple - that'd be something for the insecure wouldn't it? "Use these little mini-nappies and no-one will notice you're leaking like a tap"

As it happens - and sorry if you're eating right now - apparently at this stage in my pregnancy I can expect to just run like the proverbial water-sqirter, both nasally and down there. So I'm keeping them pant liners, just in case.

I went to visit my mother yesterday, and there was a huge bag of baby clothes in the dining room for me to pick up. It was really nice of my brother and his partner to loan them to us although it's a little early. But I'm not allowed to do any heavy lifting, so I'll divide it into about six shopping bags, and take a couple of bags each time I visit. Perhaps they didn't arrive too early after all.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Hugs and kisses

Some people are huggers - when they meet friends they give great big bear hugs. Other people are kissers - they either kiss you on one cheek, or go all Continental and kiss you on both cheeks, or maybe even kiss you on the lips. People in my family are neither - it doesn't matter if you're going overseas for two years, you aren't going to get anything touchy-feely from the family. Hugging and kissing comes so unnaturally that I just tend not to do it to platonic friends.

Over time, I have become better at reciprocating displays of affection. But now I find it hard to predict whether someone is going to hug me or kiss me, and how I should "reply". Because if I try to hug someone whose about to give me a peck on the cheek - or vice versa - messy lipstick stains could ensue.

And here's another thing - if you know someone is about to kiss you on the cheek, do you kiss them on the cheek at the same time (which means one of you is going to miss), or just after (requiring speed and agility)? Or do you just take the kiss and not give back?

These, and other questions, plagued me last night when I attended a big dinner for an old friend of my brother's. This friend has been living in France for years, so he does the Continental kiss. The rest of the crowd - the ones who know me, anyway - alternated between huggers and cheek-peckers. Until the conversations started, I was a little out of my element.

Boys and girls at school

I really don't get why it is seen as such a problem that girls are doing much better than boys at school.

Once they leave school or university, you can be bloody sure that the boys'll be earning more money than the girls anyway.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Fun with avatars

Last night we went to a cyberformance - a piece of theatre performed by four artists based around the world called Avatar Body Collision (isn't that just the coolest name?). Their work is based on the interesting concept that you don't have to be in the same geographic location as your fellow performers - or even in the same location as your audience.

At last night's show, Swim - an excercise in remote intimacy, there was one performer on stage, one at a "secret Wellington location", one in the UK and one in Finland - all interacting in real time using visual chat software.

We watched a shortened and cynical version of Hero and Leander, "one of the greatest love stories of all time", and a happy-fied version of New Zealand's own Hinemoa and Tutanekai (also "one of the greatest love stories of all time").

The best bit for me though, was watching an artist in one frame/location seemingly kiss an artist in another frame/location, leaving a nice big lipstick stain.

* Ooooh look, I'ved edited yesterday's post to include a whole bunch of helpful links for NZ-challenged readers...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Three nights, four days

The boy and I decided it was high time we took a long weekend away again, in a couple of weeks' time. I didn't want to go to Rotorua for the umpteenth time, because we've seen most of the touristy places at least once (the geysers, the hot mud pools, buried Maori villages...). Usually the big draw for us is to find a motel which has private thermally heated hot pools, and spend our evenings in one. This time around though, the hot pools are off-limits for me.

So I thought that this time we could go to Napier.

Reasons to go to Napier:
- The boy has never been there before
- Its known for its Art Deco architecture, as the place was rebuilt in 1931 after a massive earthquake
- The weather is usually nice
- The area is covered in wineries (good for the boy) and orchards (good for me)
- It's not as far away as Rotorua, therefore the boy is less likely to get grouchy from all the driving (especially if I forget to pack the beer again)
- We can get there without flying (which the boy hates) or boating (which makes me nauseous - I've had enough of that in the last four months)

Reasons not to stay:

- It's where some schoolboys got done for inserting a broomstick into their classmate's bottom
- I have relatives there. Sooner or later, I'd bump into them and have to make small talk - maybe even visit them
- It's smaller than where we live, therefore will offer less to do at night
- Scenically speaking, it wouldn't hold a candle to most holiday spots in the South Island

No doubt we'll be on the lookout for Internet cafes once we get there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

a rose is a rose...unless that's not her name

When I first started my last job, I kept calling my workmate Raewyn by the wrong name. Every time I called her Jan though, she eventually would respond - without correcting me. It must have been weeks before I realised, and only after I heard someone else call her by the correct name.

Today I did a similar thing, except in a way it was much worse. Worse, because the person I was offending was an external person, someone from whom I was requesting free booklets and stuff. Worse also because we were corresponding by email, and her name was clearly laid out under each reply. It was really embarrassing.

I think I'll blame the old pregnancy hormones. I didn't think to do it at the time, when I wrote my apology to her - but then that opens up the where-do-I-draw-the-line-with-broadcasting-my-pregnancy can of worms, anyway.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Just a little prick: the amnio

Up until yesterday afternoon, it wasn't the procedure I'd been worried about, but the potential results of the amnio. But as it got closer and closer to the time of my appointment, I became more and more tense. I'm not sure why, though knowledge of the 1:200 chance of having a miscarriage resulting from having a long needle poked into my womb, may have influenced things. The boy was wonderfully supportive. He took the day off work and took me out to lunch beforehand (to my huge relief, there was no need for me to have a full bladder before the procedure). Not that it was particularly enjoyable for him, since apparently I was wearing a very anxious expression on my face the whole time.

The operation took fifteen minutes, from preparation to my getting off the table. First there was a scan (this time the baby actually looked like a baby) to show the doctor where to put his needle; then my abdomen was swabbed with something really cold (probably a local anaesthetic); then I saw a long, pointy needle and stopped watching.

What I felt though, was a sharp prick going through two layers (the skin and the muscle?), followed by a something warm being sucked up through a thin tube. It was all quite uncomfortable, and it was an effort for me to breathe; I was scared that if I let my diaphragm move in and out, I'd accidentally poke my foetus in the eye or something.

I was a bit stunned afterwards; vulnerable, fragile and traumatised even. I can't explain why, except that I'd just had a long needle poked into my womb and some of its insides sucked out. Anyway, that's all over now, until we get the results back.

Monday, February 21, 2005

nudity as art

As someone who once avidly attended life drawing sessions, I used to get a few jokey comments about whether any of the other artists (I use this word in the loosest meaning, since the term includes myself) turned up just to perve. My rebut was always that you never knew what kind of model you would get - one evening it would be a male dancer, another an over-endowed, middle-aged woman. People who went to perve would be disappointed most of the time.

Anyway, what I was getting around to was these two articles in this morning's Stuff. The first one is about Koko the sign-language-speaking gorilla's interest in women's breasts. The other one is about a strip club which has got around local anti-nudity laws by pretending to be some kind of life-drawing studio.

Still awaiting 'the glow'

All the books say that in the second trimester I can expect my complexion to get really good - no oiliness, no dryness, just good old clear glowing skin.

Well, I'm in my second trimester now, and I'm still waiting. I can see now that it's one of those promises which I could wait the rest of my life for, without ever coming true.

I'm still waiting for that feeling of self-assurance and confidence which was supposed to come when I hit thirty.

Hell, I'm still waiting for that teenage growth spurt which was supposed to save me from years of peeking through tall people's legs at outdoor concerts.

Not only is my face suffering from the ravages of last-minute acne and eczema flare-ups, but in the shower this morning I found a network of fine pink lines running across my abdomen. Not so much linea nigra (a dark line running down your torso) as multiple linea rosa. I think they might be stretch marks, dammit.

Saturday night at the movies

I think it was the boy's way of making up for not really celebrating Valentine's Day (our first Valentine's Day together, he bought me a card and twelve long-stemmed roses; this year he bought me a card before sodding off to his role-playing evening). On Saturday he finally agreed to accompanying me to see Finding Neverland.

It was almost surprising that the boy enjoyed Finding Neverland, because there aren't any comic book heroes in the film - nor any violence to speak of. (But he has shown an occasional appreciation of fine film-making; he just seems to prefer the other stuff.) It was much sadder than I'd expected. The surreptitious eye-wiping started barely half-way into the movie, and with my hormones in the state they were I was deeply glad that I didn't have a mascara habit. The boy who played Peter was excellent, and possibly out-acted both Johnny and Kate. Johnny Depp's attempt at a Scottish accent was a miserable failure though. He could have tried taking lessons from Mike Myers, and ended up sounding Glaswegian - but that's better than sounding Irish. And he did better than Dustin Hoffman, who just sounds American.

Apart from that particular flaw, it was really good.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A beginners guide to the occult

Ever since I took Classics 201: Greek Mythology, back in my early student days, I've been intrigued with the connection between myths and the psyche. I remember the lecturer relating the story of Oedipus Rex with Freud's Oedipus Complex, and my assignment on all the little folk tales which made up the Robin Hood legend.

One of the regular customers at the library where I used to work was highly interested in mythology too. She recommended a book called The Golden Bough, by Sir James George Frazer; it would be right up my alley. After months of checking in on the local second hand bookshops, I finally found it. First published in the late 1800's, the one I have is a single-volume 1961 reprint. It's relatively easy to read - obviously Frazer wasn't trying to out-academe the academics when he wrote it. I'm only into the first chapter, but already I'm learning just how prevalent voodoo-type magic was.

The boy seemed to be quite pleased that I'd bought the book - apparently back in the UK he made a point of frequenting the bookshops of Hay-on-Wye to add to his own extensive collection of books on the occult.

Perhaps I can be the Willow to his Giles/Spike? Nah.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The triumph of the bargain hunter (also a lady of leisure)

I realise now that I've been shopping for preggy clothes in the wrong places. The first shops I went to have turned out to be the most expensive so far, and today I found two shops which are far less taxing on my credit card. Best of all, one of those shops has a discount outlet at Dressmart, which means that I found a pair of maternity jeans for twenty five measly dollars. Twenty five measly dollars! Just to give you an indication of how excitingly cheap that is, these jeans are more than one hundred dollars cheaper than the pair I've been wearing up till now. Even the non-discount price was half of what I paid for the ones I've been wearing. This kind of thing always makes me feel such an idiot for not having shopped around in the first place. It's also made me kinda happy to have found the right places to shop.

I think I'm experiencing a form of empty nest syndrome. Now that I'm working three days a week and not studying any more, I have lots more time to do other things. But I spent a whole year being too busy to do anything other than work and study, so I'm really not used to having all this free time. Today I slept in, did the laundry, went shopping for clothes and read blogs. Later I'll watch last night's episode of The Guardian and when the boy gets home from work this evening we'll watch some episodes of Firefly (thanks for lending us the DVDs, Make Tea Not War - what a pal!). I really meant to be more constructive with my time, like working on my travel diary scrapbook and reading books about stuff which I want to learn without actually signing up for any courses (mythology, art history, philosophy). But the time I get around to doing these things I might be already knee-deep in baby poo. I hope not.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

An embarrassing incident involving cherry tomatoes

I was sitting there on a bench in a crowded and trendy street, munching on my home-made cheese 'n' lettuce 'n' tomato roll. They were cherry tomatoes, sweet and juicy and placed in the sandwich in halves.

It was the third or fourth bite that did it - tomato guts squirted all over my face, my chest and my lap. Who would have thought that such little fruit could contain so many seeds? Or that those seeds would be so hard to remove? They sure are sticky little buggers. Wiping had no effect at all on my clothes, so I had to pick them out of my top and skirt one at a time. It really took a long time, because I just kept finding more and more. I even found one under my left boob - how could it have got there? I'm sure I risked looking as though I was having a quick fondle in public; I had no choice but to manhandle them in order to ensure there weren't any more.

So that's another thing to add to my list of lunch ingredients to beware of; the other one is corn in your toasted sandwich - those kernels are hot.

p.s. in case you needed to know, tomato juice left in your clothing is completely visible to the naked eye.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A telltale heart

Today the boy accompanied me to my second appointment with the midwife. Never again will I agree to an evening appointment - we got there at 5.15pm for a 5.20 appointment, and had to amuse ourselves with months-old Women's Weekly magazines until 6pm. And me with my out-of-control hayfever, too.

Once we got to go in, I felt I should try to take up as much of her time as possible, because after all that's what all the other couples must have done, eh? (It's irrational I know, and I can't blame it on the pregnancy hormones either).

There wasn't a weigh-in, which surprised me because it's mentioned in the prenatal section in all the books. It's probably just as well though, since it's easier to think I've put on a kilo than to find out for sure that I've put on three.

Then came the really exciting part. We got to hear my baby's heartbeat for the first time. It was so much better than looking at the blob in my first scan, because it was so much more recognizable. Foetal heartbeats must be pretty quick, because this one sounded like he/she was having a workout.

This was the moment when it really struck home that there's a little life there in my burgeoning belly.

Monday, February 14, 2005

A dentist I can relate to

My mother really wanted to have someone look at her set of dentures, and being the kind of woman she is, she also wanted to try a new dentist. I had to call every dentist in town who had a Chinese-looking surname, and ask the receptionist whether he or she could speak Cantonese. If only it were as simple as looking through all the Wongs in the white pages.

We did find one; in fact one whose father used to be one of my mother's neighbours. The new dentist was cheerful and patient (perhaps knowing you can charge sixty bucks for fifteen minutes work will do that), and apparently was quite accustomed to dealing with the foibles of elderly Chinese people i.e. people who, decades ago, thought nothing of getting all of their own teeth replaced with falsies just because you could; people who would rather suffer gum disease followed by loss of teeth rather than pay for regular check-ups; people who will turn the simplest task into living hell for their offspring who has to be there to translate. The dentist knew which course of action would appeal to my mother the most, because it's what all his elderly Chinese patients prefer i.e. a quick and reasonably priced fix.

The way he talked about his dad and his elderly relatives, I felt "I can sooo relate to this". I could've stayed and shared elderly parent anecdotes with him all afternoon, except I wouldn't have been able to afford his time.

I was a bit grumpy when I realised I would have to drive over to my mum's in the morning in order to pick up her dentures and drop them off at the dentist's for fixing - she gets to eat properly tonight but tomorrow's lunch will have to be gummed. Then I got worried that the grumpiness was another sign that I'm turning into my mother, so I stopped.

From the sea

Here's a name which both the boy and I liked: Morgan.

It's Welsh, which is good because the boy has Welsh origins.
It's suitable for either sex (though according to one website, it's a girl's name and according to another, it's a boy's name.
Morgan means "bright dweller from the sea", which is good, because hopefully the little one will be bright, and we do live close to the sea.

But wait, there's more.

According to this site, Morgan will grow up to
"...have great self-confidence and a charming personality which attracts many friends and admirers. Your innate sense of personal power and ability to lead are ideally suited to positions of authority. Being so versatile and seeing the big picture your ambitions are high and much is usually expected of you. With patience and tenacity you will certainly fulfill the great potential you have for success."

I have to admit a slight disappointment in not finding any magical references in the name though. I know of the name as that of the Arthurian sorceress, Morgan le Fay, but apparently she was invented much later than than original name.

But wait...there's still more...

I tried out that last link to find out what my own name says about me:
"Very much the individual you have enormous energy and vision and must find a suitable use for your talents. You have great potential for success in business if you can guard against indecision and worry. Your generous nature means that you are never short of friends and with cooperation your relationships can be very rewarding. Perseverance and firm decision making will ensure you achieve your objectives."

(I have to say that it is certainly absolutely correct about my "indecision and worry".)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

another post about clothes, plus some thoughts on baby names

Last night I had a good look at the maternity clothes which my brother's partner had saved up for me. Some of it looked pretty promising, but the shorts were depressingly large - depressing because she seemed so sure I'd actually fit into them one day. Well it looks like I'm going to be okay for really big shirts and skirts, though the search for suitable swimwear continues. Next week I'll have a look at K-Mart and see if I can't get something large in lycra.

Whilst waiting for the boy to finish browsing in the computer games shop, I had a look in the nearby bookshop and chanced upon something I thought I'd never see - a magazine called Cosmopolitan Pregnancy. Along with the week-by-week gestation countdown and beauty tips to go with "the glow", there were a lots of pages of fashion. It was just like the normal Cosmo, but without the sex tips (I guess it's assumed you must be getting some already).

Since Jon brought up the question of a name for the bun in my oven, I've been thinking about boys' and girls' names. I quite like "Lilith" if it's a girl, though it wouldn't exactly roll off my mother's tongue (or that of anyone else who can only pronounce English with a strong Cantonese accent). The boy likes tree names like "Willow" and "Rowan", because to him trees have a magical meaning. (I supposed that "Pohutokawa" and "Cabbabge Tree" would be out of the question, and I was right.) As for boys' names, we couldn't agree on a single one (sorry Jon).

A friend of mine sent me the link to a page which has some truly fascinating (yet somehow extremely unappealing) names, here. Perhaps it can be viewed as a list of name to be avoided like the proverbial plague.

Friday, February 11, 2005

cruel tv stations

The Guardian is one of my favourite tv shows, but TVNZ have decided to shift it from it's usual 8.30pm timeslot to 11.30pm. That's even later than the timeslot for Firefly. And the show they are putting in it's place is the boring outback soap opera McLeod's Daughters, about a bunch of attractive young women in the outback and the men they love...(suppressing a snort and a yawn).

With Firefly, we got around the fact that programing our VCR doesn't always work by asking (very nicely, with bribes) to borrow the entire series on DVD from some friends. But there's not much chance that our mostly-SF/Fantasy-friendly friends will have The Guardian on DVD. I will have to be more forceful about getting the boy to remember to put the VCR recorder on, on Thursday nights.

I'm so pissed off I might even send TVNZ a letter to complain.

But on the other hand
...I did enjoy Lost, even though we completely missed the pilot episode. Although it did seem a bit like Survivor without the prize. And what's this about a plane leaving from Sydney being mostly full of Americans? And if it is mostly full of Americans, how come there's only one fat person in the whole show?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

neither glutton-free nor fat-free

Today I got to attend a board meeting; apart from the board members who came in from all over the country, most of the people at my office were there. Being a newbie, it was a day of listening and trying to remember people's names, rather than one in which I could actually contribute anything useful.

Lunch and morning and afternoon teas were provided; a boon for a snacker like myself who also can't turn down free food. It was a bit unlucky that I couldn't eat most of the lunch offerings though - I had to pass up the various cold meats (for fear of the dreaded listeria) and my egg allergy stopped me from trying the quiche. I had to make do with tons of salad and very generous portions of hokey-pokey ice cream and fruit salad. The cakes and fresh fruit in the afternoon was so nice that I wished I was one of those uninhibited people who just do whatever the hell they want without worrying what others think of them. But I'm not, so I didn't gorge myself, or sneak food away in my pocket. And to top off this veritable foodfest, the meeting went on so long that I didn't get around to getting my walk in. I hope baby doesn't mind that his mum's been a glutenous slob today.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Happy Chinese New Year

I already have my greeting card to give to Mum, who will no doubt have a red packet full of cash to give me in return (I'm sure one reason why Chinese parents are keen to marry off their offspring is to avoid having to give them lucky money indefinitely). It's surely a sign of the times when you can buy Chinese New Year greeting cards at the local bookshop, eh? I mean - this city doesn't even have a Chinatown.

It's really quite a low-key festival (that is, as celebrated by Chinese as opposed to those white folks' "celebrating diverse cultures" tourist traps) compared to Hong Kong. You're supposed to have a ton of food lying around for all the visitors you're going to get, and you're also supposed to spend as much time as possible visiting other families and eating their food. In my family it's limited to having a bit of dinner (which has been postponed till Friday) and giving out lucky money. Nothing too stressful...

...which apparently it is in China. Some poor people had to do their own cleaning for a whole day because their maid took the day off.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What's happened to my knees?

I had a fruitless search through the local preggie-wear shop for a light summer dress - there's a summer sale on but of course if it's in my size then either I don't want it or someone else just bought the last one. I also went into one of the large second-hand clothes shops, but no luck there either. Second-hand shopping really takes a lot more patience than I ever have when I'm looking for something in particular.

In this kind of heat, and with this much difficulty in finding something that fits right and doesn't make me look like one of Trinny and Susannah's fashion criminals, it's no wonder that some women resort to tents and kaftans. I can almost feel the desperation coming on.

Hopefully my brother's partner will have some preggie gear saved by which I can borrow. She's a different height and a different colouring, but most preggie stuff I've seen is black anyway and I can just promise not to shorten anything permanently (she has enough three-quarter length pants).

In the meantime I finally found an old sundress which I bought years ago. It's too short really, but it's cool to wear and should be fine as long as I don't wear it out in public. I really don't remember my knees looking quite to pudgy in it though. I sincerely hope that, whether it's fat or water retention, it's temporary.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Does anyone else think Cherie Blair looks freakishly similar to Sharon Osbourne?


Tonight's is my last class, maybe even my last ever class if I don't get enthused about re-starting the study next year. All the same, I still have a ton of really boring readings, full of unfeasibly large words, to get through before it's really over and I can truly call my workless days free. There's also the very last assignment to finish and hand in on Wednesday night.

And that is why I've spent last night and today watching Fahrenheit 9/11 (especially depressing to watch post-Bush's re-election), vacuuming, reading a glossy women's magazine, finishing a Buffy novel (The wisdom of war - a good read if you're a Buffy fan), reading blogs and walking around like I've got a hangover (I haven't of course - I'm just groggy from the heat'n'humidity).

The boy told me that your brain shrinks in pregnancy because your body's energy is going straight to the baby. This explains an awful lot.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

a Chinese New Year surrogate

Chinese New Year is a much bigger deal these days, at least among the non-Chinese. For the last few years it's been marked by food and craft stalls, a parade and entertainment. I don't usually bother attending these events, seeing as they're merely commercially-oriented and aimed at the white folks. We did go out last night to watch the fireworks though, just 'cos I love watching fireworks. The spectacle lasted about half an hour, which is actually a really long time (especially if you're standing up). There were fireworks which produced heart shapes and spirals, fireworks which looked like a swarm of mosquitos and lots of noise and smoke. In fact there was so much smoke, and so little wind to blow it away, that afterwards the whole of the city centre was enveloped in the stuff. It's how I'd imagine San Francisco to look like on one of it's famous foggy days.

Meanwhile, our planned family New Year dinner has been canned because my brother and his family have pulled out. His mother-in-law is in town and somehow this means that they will be far too busy to celebrate what I thought was quite an important day for my mother. Whatever.

Oh yeah, and I just realised that the boy is a Rooster. I'd better find out whether Roosters and Dragons are compatible.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

My abdomen is not public property, and other thoughts

The other day, someone I'd only met for the second time ever (and who'd just found out I was pregnant) wanted to touch my tummy. No bloody way. He wasn't my doctor or my midwife so I really don't see what right he had to to feel my bump. I leaped away, just out of his reach, and chided him in (I hope) a jokey manner.

I wasn't quite so quick this morning when my gym trainer came by to see how the mum-to-be was doing. She was lightning fast, this one, and wouldn't have gotten away with it if she weren't a middle-aged woman.

Hey, it's my stomach, people. You wouldn't dare do it if I weren't expecting, would you?

At the pool I often see women bring their young sons into the women's changing room. This is fair enough if they're aged four or younger I suppose. But I wonder whether any men have been game enough to take their young daughters with them to the men's changing room? Somehow it sounds a lot more threatening, eh?

I've found that the library in town has put it's collection of Buffy and Angel novels all together. This is great, because they're written by various people so this makes them so much easier to find. Thank you, ** Library. After next Wednesday I will be totally free of library school concerns (at least until I'm ready to go back), so my free time will soon be filled with Buffyverse tales.

I've only tried four Buffy/Angel titles so far, but I've noticed that some writers sure are better at writing them than others. Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder go to the top of the class, Scott and Denise Ciencin will require another workshop on how to write an interesting story.

Friday, February 04, 2005

I can't believe it

Oh my Gawd....I just checked the blog stats and I had 306 views yesterday. This is a huge jump from forty or so only a week ago. I swear I haven't used the word "sex" in any post for ages - oops.

Thank the gods I have double-fold eyelids!

If the boy weren't so good with sending me tidbits now and then, I wouldn't have many links to bring to your attention. He's surpassed himself today, with a lesson in Japanese on how to give your eyes a Western look. With the clever application of a bit of glue, you too can avoid the cost of getting blepharoplasty (that's if you have the classic Asian single-fold lids, which I don't).

You'll need Macromedia Flash to see this wee movie, but I really recommend you watch it (and turn on your speakers if you can understand Japanese). It made me go "Eeeerrrrgggghhhh!"

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hello, I live in an oven

As though to punish us all for complaining about the crappy weather all the way through December (and most of January), lately it's been so hot I don't even want to go outside. But I usually do anyway on the days I'm at work, because the office isn't air-conditioned and we have to make do with a single fan which my manager brought in from home and a few windows which can be opened a few inches each. What makes it harder to put up with is knowing that I mustn't let my body temperature get high for long or I will "cook the baby" (those are the exact words spoken by the gym instructor who gave me a preggy programme).

I suffered a bit on the walk home too, because I had neglected to bring my hemp sunhat - the sunhat which makes the boy look like a dopehead (handsome though he is) and which squishes very conveniently into my small bag.

I must stop complaining. No doubt it will bring on a severe cold snap which breaks all records for the last fifty years or something. I'll go swimming - just as soon as I get myself a swimsuit which fits my expanded body and yet still makes me look like a movie star (yeah, right).

Or maybe I'll go get some ice cream.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The end of The Office

It took several weeks of watching only when the boy was out or busy, but I did it - I have finished watching the complete Series One and Two of The Office. Fortunately, I have never worked with anyone as annoying as Gareth (I think) and I've never had to kow-tow to a manager as pitifully unfunny as David Brent. This probably why I thoroughly enjoyed the show, while the boy couldn't watch it without emitting groans of recognition.

I hadn't managed to see the second series while it was first broadcast on television so it was a complete surprise to see Dawn and Tim get together. That scene in the taxi when Dawn opened up her Secret Santa gift, and it's a set of oil paints from Tim - it made me go all teary. Although...that might have been the hormones.

And shockingly enough, even the Brentmeister finds a girlfriend. A woman who is both physically attractive and nice actually finds him funny and wants to see him again. Surely that's a message of hope for even the saddest loser.

I haven't yet played the David Brent music CD. It may have to wait until I find a way to secretly put a small - but effective - speaker in the Noisy Neighbour's house. It's a revenge thing.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Why it's no good comparing yourself with other people

The Information Management department at university hosted one of it's end-of-trimester pizza lunches today (that means free food and drink), and for the first time since I've been a student there I could actually attend.

One of my fellow students is knocked up too, and due about week after me. I was rather jealous to discover that she's maintained her slim figure, in contrast to the sudden explosion in my own physical size. She hasn't got an increased girth like I do, but our bumps are about the same size.

Afterwards I met up with one of my old work-mates from my IT days (it's turning out to be a sociable week for me); she confided that she and her hubby have been trying to conceive for around eight months now. Far from feeling better about myself though (it tooks us five months), this news only made me feel concerned for her.

So there you have it - people who seem better off than me make me feel worse, and so to people who seem worse off.

There's just no pleasing me.