so that was christmas. a morning spent witnessing a frenzy of gifting; an afternoon with a few kilos of prawns, a whole baked trout and then a tiramisu-trifle concoction involving panettone, marscarpone, raspberries and white chocololate; a balmy evening being devoured by ravenous mosquitoes in the backyard. i had eaten so much over the course of the afternoon i could barely stand or sit, but still those mosquitoes ate better.
Monthly Archives: December 2003
why oh why oh why am i stuck on a department store escalator with people standing both on the left side and the right side of the step, denying me overtaking privileges? why has the volume of said people tripled in the last two hours? why do they all smell slightly sour?
could it be that i, who don’t do christmas shoping, last minute christmas shoping, am participating in this most diabolical of year-end traditions? ummmm… yes.
fueled only by a just-bought package of braune lebkuchen mit früchten und schokoladeboden, and a small bag of mcdonald’s fries i got free with the coupon they gave me the last time i gave blood (now there’s an incentive to rock up to the red cross with elbow pit bared), i’ve been riding escalators between floors for ohhh… three hours, trying to find the most classy photo album for ‘a reasonable price’. why is it the cheaper the album, the shinier it is?
after a day out walking around the city, i returned with a blister on my little toe, the size of my little toe. much as i would have liked to preserve it as a living specimen, i had to drain it the next day to fit back into my shoes. i stuck a needle into it and good lord! it was like the birthing scene in “like water for chocolate”.
i think i would like to go for a swim.
message received 19 december at 7.20pm:
well well well.
well… well… well…
[ evil cackle ]
i mean, there is a yakun kaya toast in junction 8.
how can we do?
and there is a tako pachi!
i mean, there is no need to leave the heartland… ever… man.
c’mon let’s go! eh, don’t be shy.
following which, an sms conversation made possible by global telecommunications technology:
bowb: EHHH!!!!!! TAKO PACHI!!!!!!!
why am i languishing in tako pachi-less sydney? sigh. not for long. woop!
surely you wouldn’t expect it to be a good day when the burgler alarm in your building goes off at 6am (you ignore it because it’s just some idiot who hasn’t disarmed it before stepping out the door, most likely those horrible noisy people from downstairs), and then when you finally do seriously wake up half an hour later and stretch, your foot goes into a cramp. oh and also, it’s forecast to hit 34°.
it doesn’t seem so bad at first because you’re stuck at your desk post-tea-and-plum-jammed-crumpets, and you’ve got the fan plugged in, and edie brickell and the jayhawks playing, and the fan causing all these sheets and sheets of proofs you have all over the room to flutter in a most reassuring and soothing manner.
directory job #2 is due at the printers today and you’re on the homestretch. so close you could lick it. you could be done by just after lunch, and then you could go outside, a place you haven’t been to in such a while that it seems magical and mystical.
and then the calls and emails start. the ones that say “we left a whole bunch of listings out of january… can you insert those?”, and “oh, it seems there was a glitch in the spreadsheet that led you to believe a quarter page ad goes on this page, when it’s actually a half page ad”, and so on. and then when in defiance of last minute hiccups it’s finally been burned to CD, just past lunchtime as anticipated, “can you email us PDFs of all the pages with ads on them so we can check them?”.
o if such care with checking had been unleashed earlier. so hours and hours and megabytes (32!) later, it washes over you like cold sick that directory job #2 will not be so obliging as to leave you in peace this evening. crap.
+ + +
the entry below was interrupted by the arrival of text to lay out. what i meant to say was, if you have a blender and you chuck in a tin of jackfruit with half the syrup and a handful of ice cubes, you end up with a pretty tasty approximation of a vietnamese fruit shake. at the main market in ho chi minh city you can get a soursop-strawberry shake that’s tangy like a strawberry yoghurt smoothie, but the best ones are from a hole-in-the-wall cafe along the main drag in hue. you will see a sign outside that says “the best fruit shakes in hue” and you will be sceptical but only until the shop lady puts in front of you an icy, glistening orange thing. o papaya shake, i miss you so.
on my desk in front of me, besides the receipts, tickets, food labels soaked off bottles and other stuff… ok, junk… are an empty glass of ginger ale, an empty mug of rose-infused black tea, and empty glass of watermelon juice and a very close to empty glass of jackfruit shake –
[you have new mail]
last night at the gaelic club, the radio birdman xmas special ROCKED. having only ever seen grainy black and white pictures of the band in their heyday, and only ever heard two of their songs (and even then one of those songs was actually a cover by silverchair), my initial response to the guy venting incoherently into the mic was, “gee that guy sure looks like doc brown from “back to the future” goin’ off.”
subsequently, “i wonder how old a person can get before it looks odd for him to be wearing those spray-on faded black jeans.”
and then, “that’s so cool someone could be so bald up top and still feel it’s appropriate to grow the rest of it out to that straggly length. rock!”
however these ruminations soon dissipated, because it’s all about the music, man. old people’s music? whatever.
if you like to go out at night for music or beers or whatever, and return with your throat not scratchy and sore, your eyes not stingy and red, your hair still fresh from that pre-going-out shampoo, and wearing clothes that you’ll be able to wear the next day without choking on stale cigarette odours, you could go smoke free.
um. so if you cast your eye towards the top right corner of the window — this window — you may notice a little person with an inverted rice bowl on his head. clicking it will take you to the bane of my current work schedule: rice bowl journals, a hub of blogs from around asia, or by people of asian descent.
“we speak asian.”
it’s not all animated tare panda icons and people who think they are manga characters. like, for example, there is this girl, and this girl, and also this girl, who recently posted some extremely [speechless. adjective to come. in the meantime, use "really good"] pictures of shelves upon shelves of exotic cakes and filled buns in a bakery in sarawak. lordy, to have been in that bakery…
so even though i turn on the computer at 7 every morning, suddenly it’s an hour and a half later, and there’s still just a little too much text formatting to get done. even though the truth is that any amount of text formatting is too much, and any distraction that will take me away from it is worthy.
to this end, last night i saw “lost in translation“, which was funnier than i thought it would be, and sadder, and um, really good.
and in the next few minutes i shall have to decide if i want to experience the 3-hour there-and-back commute out to penrith for the launch of my previous directory job. the one attractive prospect about going to penrith is that’s where the only krispy kreme outlet in australia is located.
from an email received overnight:
“bowb, DO YOU WANT TO PLEASE THE LADIES???”
why, yes, yes i do.
i didn’t actually open the message before hurling it, swearing, into the trash folder, but i’m sure it would have said something about scrubbing the toilet, taking out three weeks’ worth of recycling and bringing home cake. because dammit, that’s what works for me.
i just shut down the document i was working on all of today — text formatting for yet another directory job… four years of design school for this? — and i blinked, and suddenly my field of vision was like that cypress hill “insane in the brain” video, where it’s like the screen is soft and every time someone pokes at it, ripples radiate out. woo.
um. so i was watching “fear factor” during dinner last night, and when i turned it on, what looked like a group of professional wrestlers was in the middle of a dare in which they rolled three giant dice, on which were printed the names of various ‘gross things’, and whatever they ended up with was put into a blender for a nourishing power smoothie.
as one of the male wrestlers threw his first die, he said, “i sure hope i don’t get the fish sauce.” which he didn’t. what he got instead was spleen, kidneys [addendum: ms amber emailed me that the ingredients were actually bile and mashed brains, which makes it about 89% worse] and… durian. i know the durian’s debatable; sometimes when i’m in the mood i will happily eat a slice of durian strudel or a durian popsicle. but! blenderised spleen and kidneys [bile... mashed brains...] over fish sauce? whas?
ummm. so i was watching “gilmore girls” during dinner tonight, and god those girls sure can talk. in great volume and at great speed (the speed is probably to facilitate the volume). and here i am with absolutely nothing to say, to anyone, ever.