a little east of reality

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Good gracious, it's been 12 days since I posted. Time is moving too fast for me lately.

Everywhere I turn at the moment there is something to be disappointed about. My supervisor at working is only acting at her level, and last week she found out she didn't get the ongoing position. She's pretty mad, too, because she has over four years experience in the area, knowledge of the relevant legislation, and has been acting successfully in the job for months. Also, the feedback given really doesn't properly explain why she wasn't chosen. There seems to be a general trend in our organisation at the moment to hire from outside rather than promoting people internally. I don't want to believe that's deliberate but it's happening again and again, and last year the situation was quite opposite. I'm disappointed she didn't get it and I'm concerned that we will lose her as a result.

In much more depressing news, yesterday a kid I know was found out for breaking into someone's house and stealing something. He was lucky in that the person sorted it out privately rather than going to the police, but that isn't the point. I feel gutted. Amazing how scary, how upsetting it is, to watch a teenager do something so obviously wrong and realise that you don't really know them at all and that worst of all you really don't have any control over whether they do something like that again. And it's not like he stole something he needed ~ just a worthless 'want'. I try to never assume that anyone is flawless ~ humans are human ~ but I have to honestly say that if someone had asked me if this kid would do this I would have said, 'of course not, no way'. I also just feel so angry. Because the way he is with me is obviously not the way he is otherwise, I feel like he's played me. I love the guy, but I now can't trust him, and my respect for him is draining away. And I hate feeling like that.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

favourite song lyrics

Jack's post on favourite lyrics brought some great lines out of the woodwork (ah, Springsteen). I missed his recent 'link to Jack day' (cute idea) so feel free to follow the link through to the original post. Read the comments, too ~ lots of cool lyric snippets there, too. Strange, though I'm into lyrics, I don't have a great ability to bring them to mind at a useful moment. Not so movie lines, which pop into my head automatically at appropriate moments. Clearly the file clerk in my head is more into cinema than CDs; or maybe it's just that lyrics are indelibly welded to the music in my mind and don't come easily without the tune in my ears. Still, lyrics are poetry, poetry's a gift, yah for good lyrics. ^_^

I left some Five For Fighting lyrics in the comments at Jack's, but since then others have popped into my head.

Oh, it's asking for the taking
Come run with me now
The sky is the colour of blue
You've never ever seen
In the the eyes of your lover

My heart is aching
Coming to the edge, running on the water
Coming through the fog, your sons and daughters

Oh, so sing the greatest song
Stand on a star
And blaze a trail of desire
Through the dark'ning dawn

It's asking for the taking
Trembling, shaking
Oh my heart is aching
Coming to the edge, running on the water
Coming through the fog, your sons and daughters

So let the rivers run
Let all the dreamers wake the nation
Come, the new Jerusalem

("Let The Rivers Run" by Carly Simon)

I highly recommend turning that song up and singing along full-throatedly. At dawn. On top of a mountain. Overlooking a large city. Trust me, it will change your life.

There's a Japanese group called Every Little Thing that sings a song called Graceful World. This song has a special place in my heart because it was one of the first songs where I could understand some of the lyrics without looking them up in a dictionary. My favourite part of the song is:



Even now, somewhere
There are probably people crying
Tormenting themselves over various things
I don't want those tears to be wasted

I won't give up.
They're small things, but there are things I can do.
It's so important!

Strange that the words mean more to me in Japanese. That doesn't happen often with Japanese words ~ I'm just not fluent enough for that ~ but while I rarely get emotional over my Japan photos, Japanese songs that meant something to me during those three years twist my emotions within the first few bars. 久々に聞いたこの曲、なつかしいよ。

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

'verse' is a noun people!

Just reading a post from Jimmy on (and he may not have worded it exactly like this) the crap txtspeak that some ppl thk is prolly gonna become the new 'evolved' English. Grrr. For me, if you aren't on a mobile or msn, don't even start with that. Even on msn I prefer real English for the real conversation and abbreviations only for the administrative stuff (brb, cya, afk).

But this post is for a pet peeve I've been meaning to blog for ages. You know the word 'versus', usually shortened to 'vs' as in Mike Tyson vs Rocky Balboa? Well here in Canberra the kids connect that to the word 'verse' and use 'verse' as a verb. So they say things like, "on Saturday my football team versed the Southside Scorpians and won."

D.r.i.v.e.s. .m.e. .i.n.s.a.n.e.

I wish I could find the teacher who first allowed that and beat them down.


Friday, January 12, 2007

the new adventures of new blogger

I swapped to the new blogger. I didn't actually realise how easy it was. What is left to be seen is if it messes up my email, as in whether I can be signed into the Google account associated with this blog and still be signed in to the Gmail account which isn't. We shall see.

I have a suspician that I'm going to enjoy this labels feature, though I probably won't use it as creatively as Neil does.


speed...the non-druggy kind

Did I mention I changed internet providers. That's because my current provider offers adsl2+ (read: much, much, faster broadband) but cannot give me any idea when they are rolling out the service to my area. I waited a few months and then got busy looking for a new provider.

Adsl2+ takes me from the 512kbps I was on up to 8000kbps. I don't download movies, but to give an idea of the speed, at 8000kbps a movie would download in about five minutes. It's kind of amazing to watch your downloads move that fast. Not that I've seen it at top speed, but getting a fan-subbed Japanese TV drama (even the DVD version don't have English subtitles) in a few hours instead of a few days is a real joy.

And it's not just about downloads, either. Things just work better - watching movie trailers, loading a page with lots of pictures, and cool things like the behind-the-scenes videos that Keyboard Kid sent me fifteen links to last weekend. (We approve of the casting for the upcoming movie - especially Evanna Lynch as Luna.)

Basically, this is the first time since coming back to Australia just over three years ago that I've had broadband at a speed that comes close to what I got dirt cheap my last year in Japan, and behold, it is very good indeed.

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I occasionally want to copy stuff from other people's blogs...

but I resist fairly well. Today I had to resist the urge to add this tagline to my comments space, aka Webmistriz:
If you don't comment, the terrorists win.
Now if I could just recall which comedian it was that did such a great piece on that...

Another thing I want to copy, but it's hard to say from whom as it's so common, is a bit on the sidebar telling what book/s I'm reading at the moment. I'm always curious to know what others are reading, so maybe somebody out there is wondering what's got my attention at the moment.

Speaking of which, I am currently reading The Bourne Identity, which is a lot more complex than the movie and listening to Stardust (Neil Gaiman's fairytale for adults, about to be a motion picture) on audiobook. I am not always a fan of books read by the author ~ I am, for example, very glad that Stephen Fry and not JK Rowling did the audiobook version of the Harry Potter books as h.e. .i.s. .s.o. .v.e.r.y. .g.o.o.d. .a.t. .i.t ~ but Neil will always be the exception. He is as quirky as his stories and I love listening to him read them.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

email avalanche and freecycle

I've been almost a week without internet while swapping providers. This coincided with me joining the yahoo group for the Compact. I was interested in seeing what the list would be like. Well I found out - high volume!!! Try 300 or so emails per day. It was a pretty crazy week of frantic lunchtime clicking to try to delete all the topics that didn't interest me, especially knowing that I wouldn't be able to do any of that at home without internet.

Yesterday there was a message saying that over 2000 people had just signed on, so expect more of the same until things calmed down. I guess that's what happens when someone writes an article about you in Time Magazine. Obviously I'm now web-only. Also yesterday someone created an Australia/NZ sub-group. I think I'm going to quite enjoy that one, and not just because there is so little traffic.

I joined one other group this week and this one was a total winner. It's called Freecycle and there are over 2000 members in the Canberra area alone. Basically if you have something you don't want, but that you think someone else could use, you place an offer. If someone does want it, they contact you and arrange to pick it up. If you don't like the idea of someone coming to your door, you just let them know where it will be left (with their name on it) and stay inside when they come to pick it up.

Well, I joined last Thursday. On Friday someone offered a large, slightly older microwave in good working condition. I have a small one which is all I need, but my friend's have a large one that is almost useless. I decided to take a chance. I picked it up on Saturday, cleaned it up, and voila! It was really just dusty from storage and was in great shape. The kids and I tested it out with microwave popcorn and it took exactly the amount of time suggested on the packet. Not only that, but they have a built-in nook in their kitchen bench for their microwave to fit into, and this fits perfectly! Did I mention it was FREE?!! They got back from a trip to the coast that night and the next morning got a very cool surprise. Much cooking/reheating has ensued since that time. Yah, Freecycle! I'm looking forward to being on the give side of the give and take sometime soon, too.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Subject: ひとりはさみしいよ…今日会える…?

Speaking of things Japanese, a workmate just forwarded an email he'd received that was all in Japanese (he has such a cute misplaced trust in my translating abilities).

The subject basically reads, "Being alone is so lonely...can you meet today?" I gave him the translation and he said maybe next month as he wasn't sick of his Russian bride yet. ^_^

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

news from japan

I don't talk as much about Japan on this blog as I used to, but it's always there in the back of my mind. If I do mention things Japanese now it's mostly aimed at the band of miscreants who shared the joy that is Japan with me, so don't be surprised (everyone else) if the reference seems random. There are definitely people reading who know what I'm posting about.

Lifted from Japan-Zone:

Hotei Unplugged

Legendary rock guitarist Hotei Tomoyasu (44) is to be just the fifth Japanese artist to appear on MTV Unplugged. His acoustic performance, to be recorded in Tokyo, will be shown on January 31. He will be joined by friends from the U.S. and the U.K., most likely including ex-Stray Cat Brian Setzer and possibly Jesus Jones. Starting with Chage & Aska in 1996, the only Japanese musicians to appear on the show are Utada Hikaru, Hirai Ken and Yaida Hitomi. Hotei became one of Japan's leading musicians as a guitarist with legendary 80s rock band Boowy.

Kimutaku Declines Academy Nomination

Actor, SMAP member and Japan's No.1 heart throb Kimura Takuya (34) will not be accepting his nomination for a best actor prize at the 30th Japan Academy Awards. Kimutaku stars in "Bushi no Ichibun", the third in Yamada Yoji's trilogy of samurai movies. His decision means that the movie misses its chance to be represented in all 13 award categories. It is the first time an actor has refused a nomination, other than the rare occasion when it has conflicted with a work schedule. Johnny's Jimusho, which represents Kimura, said he "doesn't want to compete with other nominees". The agency also refuses its stars' nominations for Record Taisho awards as a matter of policy. "Bushi..." was only barely eligible for this year's awards, opening on December 1, the last day for which movies could be considered. It's been a big success, taking in over ¥1.7 billion at the box office. Several other of its stars have received nominations, including Dan Rei (35), Sasano Takashi (58), and Momoi Kaori (54). "Bushi..." is said to be Yamada's last samurai drama, despite the huge success of "Tasogare Seibei" (Twilight Samurai, 2003) and "Kakushi-ken: Oni no Tsume" (Hidden Sword: Demon's Talons, 2004).

Monday, January 01, 2007

whew, I must be smelly...

I haven't had a shower since last year!

hahahaha I love those jokes. And we only get one day or so to make them.

Other things I haven't done since last year:

- cooked
- been shopping
- collected my mail
- been to work
- done laundry

\(^_^)/ 2007, year of sloth! So far.

my resolutions, more or less

I have only two New Year's resolutions:

1. Get more sleep.
2. Spend less money.

There is not a single goal I have that won't be forwarded by doing one or both of those things.

Happy New Year, Everyone!!!

old year's night

I should've just stayed home and written down goals or something...

I was on my way out to a friend's house last night when I suddenly saw a shadow flash across my view. An instant later there was a horrible noise and I knew I'd hit something. It turned out to be a Staffy. At first she was so still I thought she was dead, but when I moved her from the middle of the road to the sidewalk she started to breathe shallowly and move a little.

I panicked a little, because from the get-go I knew there was no way the vet was going to be open on New Year's Eve. I called the RSPCA. The person on duty was great. Even though they are really just there to assist with injured wildlife, she came out and brought a towel to wrap the dog in, and gave me directions to the Animal Emergency Centre. At the centre they checked her out and gave her painkiller. I called today but no owners have called to see if anyone brought her in. She had a collar, but no tag or microchip.

They had a heap of dogs in there last night. Not only was there a loud storm, but they also run scared when there are fireworks, so NYE is a busy night. I actually watched the fireworks through the window while stroking the dog and talking to it to keep it calm.

Poor, poor thing. I didn't even see her coming. She was so sweet, too. Even in pain when she was being carried, she just growled a little and never tried to bite.