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April 2005 Archives

April 29, 2005

I just feel the need

I just feel the need for a short post:

I am now wearing an eyepatch, and will be for the next little while at least.

"Oh! I have a clever idea! I'll get contacts! Tee hee hee!"

*sigh* Will post more when I get used to staring at a computer screen with only one eye.


April 27, 2005

After forcing myself to finish

After forcing myself to finish reading Bridget Jones' Diary, I have discovered the error of my ways. Obviously everything that's wrong with me is that I don't have a boyfriend. I am now taking applications. Feel free to email me, or comment on this post.

{Edited to Add: Will take comments back off blog once a suitable application has been received.}


April 26, 2005

Things I've Learned in the

Things I've Learned in the Last Few Days, a list, by jo
  1. One of my friends feels that "the common fig tree" is far too common for him, and he must be presented with an uncommon fig tree post-haste.
  2. One of my friends doesn't mind being used as a "ball" in a game of keep-away.
  3. One of my friends has a very World of Warcraft sense of humour. He makes a good dwarf.
  4. One of my friends needs to take a light narcotic in order to spend time with me.
  5. Trying to make something sound less crazy by saying "I'd do that!" tends to backfire.
  6. I can't trust one of my friends in the kitchen. Ever. EVAR. At least not if honey is involved. Or peanut butter. But let's not talk about the peanut butter.
  7. My friends won't talk me out of hair-brained schemes.
  8. My purty new pen won't write well on postcards, but if you cover the writing in tape, it works okay.
  9. No one will talk me out of making a voo doo doll out of one of my coworkers.
  10. Don't trust Don with the books. Any books. Because he will either leave it behind in someone else's car, or pack it up in a box and give it away when I'm in the middle of it. Stupid Don.
In Other Words: Having a wonderful time. I really want to write a big long entry about the Muttart, but most of what I have right now is "Muttart good, then went to sleep."

April 24, 2005

I'd like to start this

I'd like to start this entry by saying that my current boss is not nearly as undertstanding as my last one about me walking into the office and saying 'Lesbian Ninja Pirates! With monkeys!' first thing in the 'morning'. Whereas the last one just smiled and nodded, this one wandered into his office and closed the door, and refused to talk to me about striped socks for the rest of my shift.

Which is really just an interesting opening for me to explain that lately I have loathed work, and am just dialing it in. I really feel that I'm losing my interest in the whole idea of working at this place anymore. Part of that is the whole "Going to Scotland and leaving this place behind forEVAR!", but a lot of that is just the sheer boredom and tedium of my job. I add things, then write the numbers down on a piece of paper. All night. Sometimes it's even the same number over and over again.

I just think the whole thing is part of a greater symptom, though. I'm alternately anxious about going to Scotland (which includes such gems coming from my mouth as "But... but... I don't speak like Scottish people, no one will understand me!) and counting down the seconds till I can blow this popstand. I know I'm going. It's a statement of fact. Now it's just playing the hurry up and wait game, and that's always frustrating, and it makes me doubt this is the right decision some days. I mean, what if I go there, and they all... I don't know... wear oatmeal for hats or something?

(I have no idea why it was less scary to go to China, except perhaps that no one in China could look at me and think I'd know what was going on. In Scotland, right up until I open my mouth and prove I'm Canadian, a lot of people will think I'm stupid.)

The whole thing just doesn't feel real yet.


Of course, then there's the whole conundrum with my eyes.

As I mentioned before, my glasses broke, and the nice eye people gave me some disposable contacts so we could determine if I can wear contacts or not. Of course, with my right eye being completely useless (thus, as a Lesbian Ninja Pirate, I am totally getting an eye patch - with rhinestones!), they've had a lot of problems "fitting" contacts to me. And I'm really beginning to question which way I want to go.

I mean, there's the whole issue where my face feels lighter (a lot lighter - my glasses are heavy!), I have peripheral vision, and in close situations, my eyes seem a bit better with the contacts. However, my night vision is shot to hell -- I can't read a lot of glowing signs because the light blurs together, and everything is a bit mussed up from a distance. My eyes are also really dry a lot of the time, but that's been getting better as I wear the contacts more, so it may not be a factor to consider.

In terms of cost, I seem to recall that it comes down to basically the same thing for a pair of glasses versus a year's supply of disposable contacts.

The answer would be clear to me (unintended pun) if I drove. There's no way I'd drive with these contacts. But I don't. I don't have issues with a computer screen, which is the main function of most jobs I've had in the past... um... 7 years or so. So, it's a really tough choice for me.

I'm going to stop by the eye people tomorrow and talk to them. It may really come down to which is cheaper. But I don't know.

See, these are my conundrums. Isn't my life great? *grin*

And in yet more unrelated to anything else news, I finished The Hundred Secret Senses, and am basically bookless right now till I get something new, unless I want to unbend and read that wretched Bridget Jones' Diary to the end.

Somehow, I don't think so.


April 21, 2005

So, one of the things

So, one of the things on my 43 Things list is "Read 52 books in 52 weeks." When I first added that to my list, I figured, "Hey, piece of cake." I still remember when reading 52 books in 52 days seemed like a piece of cake. No big deal, right?

Well, like everything I do, I had to go to the extreme. Not just simple little fiction books for me, oh no. I wanted to load up my read books list with lots of intellectual sounding things. Out of the Garden: A Woman's Reflections on the Bible or Women in Purple, which is about some of the Empresses of Constaintanople. Because it's all about impressing people who read my blog, right?

After reading on Jeanne-Marie's blog about how she's read about a million books so far this year, I said to myself "Screw it," walked into the used bookstore, and asked for something girly and light. (This is not to say that I think Jeanne's reading girly light stuff. I just gave up on the idea of trying to only read intellectual and clever sounding things. And I needed to start somewhere other than the collection of romance novels that I just can't seem to get rid of.) They pointed me at Bridget Jones' Diary.

Oh. My. God. What the hell is wrong with people?

I tried to read it. I really did. By the end of the first "month", I had resigned myself to something not that great, but at least it would be a good popcorn read, right? By the end of the third month I was muttering and ranting in my head about people sitting around and feeling sorry for themselves all day. By the end of the fourth month, I threw the book at the wall.

"Problem?" said my friend, curled up in his favorite chair, reading Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf.

"ARG!" I tend not to be very coherent at the beginning of a rant. "I just don't get it!"

Being terribly patient, he marked his page and put the book down. "What don't you get?"

"This whole turning 30 and not having a man is the end of the world thing! I mean, gah! What is the point? That... that... women only exist to breed or something? That if you're not in a relationship you're somehow incomplete? I don't get that idea at all. It makes no sense to me! 30 is about a year and a half away for me, and I'm not worried about not having a husband and a baby. I'm worried about turning 30 and still being in freaking CANADA!"

"You turn 30 in a year and 3 months, not a year and a half."

I gave him a dirty look. "You are missing the point. It seems that everywhere I look, women are getting advice on how to find a man, how to get married and settle down, and I don't get it. Why don't I want that? What the hell is wrong with me that every other woman (with a few notable exceptions) seems to want a man, and all I want is a plane ticket? Why don't I want kids? Why don't I care about these things at all? Am I just weird? Am I missing something important? Am I refusing to grow up? What the hell is wrong with me that I think this book is a load of crap, and yet both it and the sequel were hugely successful movies? What is everyone else getting that I'm not? I mean, this woman is so freaking neurotic."

"Are you actually worried you're not neurotic enough?"

"No, I'm actually worried that I have all the wrong neurosies."

He looked at me for a moment, picked up his book, and went back to reading.



But seriously, I am considering writing a book about an almost-30 something woman who is struggling to get out of the country without the burden of trying to take a man with her. Because I'd like to read that story, and I hadn't come up with anything for NaNoWriMo this year.



Related to the whole 43 things thing, I have been spending a lot more time with my friends. I saw four movies this month (well, three if you count that I saw Sin City twice). The most recent was Merchant of Venice. I'll just say that my companions found it a much better movie than I did. I think when 4 out of 5 people like a film, I'm probably just not the right person to see it with.

I also tried the third recipe in my book, which was corn muffins, and was greeted with many compliments. I think this whole bread-baking thing is turning out quite well. I'm just worried that the ovens in Scotland will only be in Celcius, and the entire book gives temperatures in Farenheit.

And I bought The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan, which I have yet to get frustrated with, so maybe I will manage to actually read something a bit more respectable than Harry Potter fanfiction this week.

Or, you know, maybe not.


April 19, 2005

I've been trying for almost

I've been trying for almost a week now to write something meaningful about the growing tensions between China and Japan, but everything I write comes out sounding trite and naive. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I don't live there, and even when I did live there, I didn't understand the racial tension, the seeming hatred for other countries. I regularily heard Lily and even Bao Ying talk about "dirty American dogs", and I remember typing up tests for the teachers that included long paragraphs showing how evil Japan and America are. I spent some time this week talking to a co-worker from that area about the tensions, and his passion about how evil Japan is was something I had never really experienced here, and I find it disconcerting.

I'm really quite glad I'm not in China right now. One thing I distinctly hated was hearing just hints of what was going on through the various news sources I could access behind the Great Firewall, and having to jump between people's blogs to find out what was really going on. And even then, a lot of it was rumour and conjecture. Sometimes you'd get lucky (and I probably would today, if I wanted to look for it) and read a first hand account. There are a lot of ex-pat bloggers in Shanghai and Beijing, I could find the stuff if I wanted to. But I like being in my cocoon, I think, and I'd rather not know for certain how bad it is right now.

I never mentioned to my students that I wanted to go to Japan. I didn't really want to deal with the fallout.


It's been a busy weekend, such as these things are, trying to get things prepared for going away.

I did end up getting a pair of "trial contacts" that I'm to test for a week. My face feels strange and light. They can't get an inexpensive lens for my right eye. As the doctor said, it's not worth the effort of getting the vision in that eye up to even 20/40 unless I lose it in my left eye. So, everything's just slightly off while I get used to having this lens in. For those of you unaware, I can't drive, so the world is still safe. I'm really glad I can't drive - the first few hours with these lenses I was a mess, trying to figure out how to focus again and dealing with the fact that my face felt so strange. I looked at myself straight on in the mirror without glasses for the first time in a very long time, and didn't even recongize myself.

Today, which is Tuesday, a friend of mine and I are dropping various of my boxes off at various places. I'm quite excited to get them out of my house. We're also taking a few things that are broken beyond repair to the dump. I just want to wiggle all over with bliss. Some of the stupid walls of boxes in my house will be gone, and I'll be able to seriously reclaim the space. For what it's worth, since I'm leaving so soon. I wish I had done this decluttering thing much sooner. Ever time I get rid of something that I didn't really want anyway, I feel so much better. Of course, since I'm *such* a packrat, and feel deep inside that if I get rid of something I'll somehow be betraying the person who gave it to me, or the person I was when I bought it, it's hard to say if I would have done anything of the sort without the push of wanting to leave Edmonton.

Speaking of Edmonton, I recently joined something called World66. Basically, it's a user-created Travel site. I submitted a couple of things to the Edmonton page (most notably a mention of the Princess Theatre, which is one of 5 independent theatres in Edmonton, none of which were on the page), and have perused the Scotland page with much glee, excitedly pointing out everything I could to my friend. I get a little strange about such things. But then, I did entertain myself for several days by reading key sections of my guidebook outloud to people. Anyway, one feature I enjoy is the option of making a map of every place in the world that you've been. There's nothing quite so simultaneously daunting and encouraging as seeing a map indicating that you've only been to 2% of the world's countries. Here's to at least doubling that by the end of 2005.

And just to add to my geek factor, I made another recipe from my big bread book. Blueberry muffins. I won't go into too much detail, except to say that the entire dozen was eaten quite quickly, and that lemon zest is my new best friend. I made the big yummy loaf again, too, and I have to admit that I could happy spend every day of my life smelling fresh bread. It's such a relaxing scent.


April 14, 2005

I only read the paper

I only read the paper at work, because that's where I have time and a paper is conviently delivered to me daily. We get four papers every day: The Globe and Mail, the Journal, the Sun, and the National Post.

I guess this was in the paper on a day I didn't work.

(Via Bookninja)

Edmonton poet laureate.

Because that's exactly what we need.

In unrelated news, my trial contacts are at the optomotrist, I have found someone to take in my donations of office supplies, my cat is continuing to use me as a chew toy, and everyone keeps wanting to feed me. I can cross at least soemthing off my To Do Before Scotland list, and this makes me happy.

Ack, and it's my mother's birthday tomorrow! Ack!


My hands are sore, but

My hands are sore, but the bread is yummy in my tummy. I can't even describe how satisfying it is to have baked a yummy loaf of bread all by myself (okay, with adult supervision in the form of someone reading the cook book out loud to me occasionally), then cut the fresh loaf, slathered it with butter, and made a cheese sandwich. So incredibly satisfying.

I have no idea why I'm ashamed of this.

I don't know about other women, but I feel a great deal of pressure not to like the domestic arts. To be very depreciative of my cooking skills, to pretend I don't know how to make a cake from scratch or that I don't have a set of favorite dinner recipes that I can and do whip out on a regular basis. I know how to effectively cut onions and peel tomatoes, but given the choice to talk about anything culinary, and I'll bring up how much Ichiban I've eaten this month. I'll be the first one to say I can't cook, even to people who have lived with me, eaten my tomato sauce and rhubarb pie, and I'll hush them up quickly if they try to tell anyone that I can, in fact, cook.

I don't know where this idea of hiding what is a very useful skill comes from. I think it's that I still feel like a fraud in the kitchen. Left on my own, I will eat an awful lot of Ichiban noodles. I really only bother cooking nice full meals for other people, never just for myself. And there's the part of me that insists that if I want a Career and Education and All That Stuff, I can't be good in the kitchen. In my mind, people who are good in the kitchen are trapped there, spending all day slaving over a hot stove to make barely-appreciated meals.

Now, granted, some of this is true. This bread that I'm rhapsodizing over took all day to make, and was actually started at 10:30 p.m. the night before I got to eat it at 6:30 p.m. It's a recipe that calls for a lot of 2 hour periods of rising bread. But I certainly wasn't trapped in the kitchen. I went out to lunch, I surfed the web, I napped, I had a shower, I did all sorts of things between playing with the dough. And the finished product was definitely something that was appreciated by those who got to eat it. Heck, the smell alone was appreciated. There's nothing quite like the smell of bread fresh from the oven.

I guess it's time for me to stop pretending I can't cook.

So: My name is Anna, and I like to bake fresh bread when I have a day off, make a mean tomato sauce from scratch, and still have people mention longingly in emails how much they wish I'd make them a rhubarb pie that I haven't made in 2 years.

I have just received a recipe book with 150 bread recipes in it. I can cross the first one off my list. Only 149 to go...


April 12, 2005

Unrelated to anything else, I

Unrelated to anything else, I have days off. Which means I broke my glasses.

Yay me.


April 8, 2005

I spent a lot

Lanterns
I spent a lot of time taking pictures of Chinese lanterns like this one. I had this idea of putting them all in black frames and hanging them on my wall. No, I haven't done this, I'm lazy. But it means I do have a lot of pictures of lanterns.
They do have them everywhere, they all look different, and some of them are far nicer than others. Unfortunately, I don't have any other ones scanned in right now.
I do, however, fondly remember Lantern Festival. If I recall correctly, it's about 15 days after Spring Festival, and it's... kinda crazy. *grin* Granted, I did it in Jiangyan, and Jiangyan's definition of crazy is probably different than anywhere else. But I remember the crowded streets and the way that everyone was letting off firecrackers and fireworks, and there were sparks everywhere, and part of me kept thinking about how nothing like this would be allowed to happen in Canada, with so many children running and screaming everywhere while these sparks went off. There was so much energy and so much light and noise, it was everything I think should happen on New Years Eve, except in the middle of February. No fears of evil spirits now. *grin*
I find a lot of my memories fading away, which I really regret. It takes staring at the photos to remember now. I wish I had taken the time to write more of my thoughts. Yes, I have my blog entries to look back on, but a lot of them aren't terribly personal. I wish I had more stuff that was just for me, you know?

In other news, I got some lovely and encouraging emails after my last post, which made me feel a lot better. On top of that, just making a decision made me feel a lot better. I sorta knew I'd be going, I guess, but it was always something I'd put off talking about, thinking about, acting on. I wanted to do it, but I just wouldn't let myself. There's still a lot of this feeling that chosing to go overseas again is a bit of "I don't wanna grow up!" act, but I'm getting over that to. Everyone makes their own choices. This one is mine.
Unrelated to that, my favorite Rapscallion comes home soon. Which is mostly interesting in that I apparently agreed to bake him bread for the day he comes home. Which, granted, sounds like something I'd agree to do, but I'm a bit fuzzy on the conversation. Can I just say now that asking me to do something in the middle of the day is a lot like asking someone else to do something in the middle of the night? I'll probably agree to just about anything to get someone off the phone so I can go back to sleep. Oh well, it'll be fun, and I get to bake bread, which I really enjoy doing. Plus, there's the added appeal to my ego of, "But Anna, I really missed your cooking. And baking. And your bread. Especially your bread. Will you make me bread?"
Of course, I have The World's Easiest Bread Recipie. As the author calls it, Fool Proof Bread, tested by an elite cadre of fools. And who doesn't want to make something that includes directions like "Punch the dough like it's your ex. Then punch it again for good measure, he deserves it." *grin*
Hmm.... What else is going on in my exciting life? Well, I have a to-do list of things I need to do before I can leave the country. It's under revision, of course, and I'm fairly convinced that I'm going to forget something terribly important, like turning off the power in my apartment or something. Since I'm still dealing with the bills that were run up in my name when I was in China, I'm a little bit concerned. Even though I'll actually be leaving the apartment, and never coming back, thus not leaving anything on in my name for any room mates to deal with, I'm still kinda haunted by the whole thing. If you look at the list and notice anything I forgot, please do tell me.
Speaking of lists, I joined 43things some time ago. I'm rather strange that way. Basically it's a list of things you're going to do (up to 43 of them, fancy that), and you can see other people who have the same things, track your progress, stuff like that. It's kinda interesting, in a very meme-y sort of way.
Since I'm being a bit of a link whore, I thought I'd add that I have a couple of things up on Work or Spoon.

From Shani's Blog Jojo, one

From Shani's Blog

Jojo, one of our longtime servers at Jekyll's, has been hit very hard lately. She was one of the residents at The Arlington, and she was home when it went up. Jojo spent two days in the hospital for smoke inhalation, and has lost everything. Amanda is asking for donations of clothes, furniture, food, linens, kitchen utensils and tools, toiletries, as well as any financial contributions to help get Jojo back on her feet. You can reach Amanda at the Jekyll's Pub at: 426-5381.

My comment:

Shani, I'm gonna post this on my blog, too. Also, I just called Bo (anyone can talk to him, too) and they can't take donations of items right now, because Jo doesn't have a place to stay yet. However, what I'm doing is giving them a list of things I *can* donate, along with my phone number, and they will call me as soon as they can take the stuff in.


April 5, 2005

{Editor's note: I wrote this

{Editor's note: I wrote this about a week ago, and finally decided to go ahead and post it today.}

I don't know if anyone else suffers from days where you hate everyone and everything, but I woke up this morning despising everything. And I couldn't figure out why.

Oh, there were lots of things I could blame it on, easily enough. I've spent the last three weeks studiously decluttering my apartment, which is a lot of freaking work. Plus, since I'm nicely boxing up things that belong to other people, or that I want to donate, or that have other reasons to be boxed or bagged up, I'm living in a house that looks like I'm moving at the end of the month - but I'm not. I spent a good chunk of my days off at Margery's place doing tons of laundry, of which about 3/4s was either donated or thrown out, and 1/2 of what I returned with is either Barry's or Kris'. So, more was added to their piles of boxes. When I came home after my days off, expecting one more night to myself, I found three messages from work asking me to please come in to work last night, since they'd already changed the schedule.

My cat hates me. Again. *sigh*

And going back even further, my three best friends all moved to other cities within a month of each other.

So, I woke up this morning in a terrible mood, and nothing I've tried all day has worked to kick me out of it.

I did what everyone does when they need a pick me up. I called up a friend and whined.

Because he's a good friend, he listened to me whine for the better part of an hour, then calmly asked me a few things. Like, how I actually felt, beyond the whining. Which I had to sit down and think about.

"I feel like I'm killing time. Like I'm just waiting for something to happen, and nothing's going to. Like this is it, these four walls, and this job that's going nowhere, and this life that's just dull."

"Have you felt like that before?"

"I guess... Yeah, when I was putting everything together but hadn't actually done anything about going overseas. When I was still just talking about it. Life was so dull, but I couldn't seem to do anything."

"You know," he said. "You've been talking off and on for the past year about going overseas again. You didn't want to come back from China. You talked about Japan and stuff, remember? Didn't Paul warn you about having itchy feet when you came back?"

"Yeah, but...."

Yeah, but. But, I missed Edmonton with a deadly passion while I was away. I had dreams about coming home. I talked about it constantly, about all the people I missed, all the things I didn't get to do. I remember back when Barry and I lived in Vegreville, how if we lived in the wonderful land of Edmonton, everything would be perfect. We'd do stuff with people every weekend, and we'd never be bored again. I like that idea of Edmonton.

"You're bored, Anna. You're stagnating. You don't even go through the motions of trying to do anything exciting anymore. When was the last time you even left the house to do something new? And no, going to Camrose to do your laundry doesn't actually count."

"It's not that simple."

Because it never is that simple for me. I haven't left the house for a lot of reasons, and part of that is that I'm bored. I'm bored of work, it's not challenging anymore. I can't stand the idea of going to a game because I feel like I've really played them all, you know? The people I want to talk to, I can call them, I can email them, I can talk over ICQ. I can make that sort of effort. But going out for coffee? I'm bored of coffee. Meeting at the pub? I'm bored of the pub. I'm bored of a lot of things. I can't even stand the idea of reading a book some days because it's so boring. Some days I'm sure this is a sign that there's something wrong, that I should talk to someone seriously about how bored I am, how nothing interests me anymore. Other days, I think it's because I've done everything in Edmonton I conceivably wanted to do, and now it's time to go some place else.

I've never lived anywhere as long as I lived here.

"It's never that simple for you. I love you, but you make things more complicated than they need to be."

"Probably."

Translate probably as yes.

"I know you've been thinking about going overseas again. What's holding you back?"

"Lots of stuff."

I'd need to get a visa again. I need money, I always need money. I'd have to give up a job that, although it bores me, pays well and has opportunities to pay more. And has benefits. My parents want me to settle down and get a career, my friends are getting married and having babies, except when they're already married with babies. They're being grownups. Going back overseas seems like a selfish thing to do, some days. I have all this stuff, and no idea what to do with it all. What would I do with my cat, he can't come with me. What if I go over there and I'm deathly lonely again? What if I can't find a job? What if I go away, and everyone here forgets about me?

"Tell me some of them."

"Money."

"Then we'll get you the money. Anna, you got the money to go to China, and we'll help you get the money to go someplace else. You do have friends who love you, and know that you're going insane here."

Have I mentioned that I'm blessed in my friends?

"I'm running out of time to get a working holiday visa to a lot of places, I have to do it before I'm 30."

"You're not even 29 yet, there's lots of time."

"I don't know where I want to go."

"Uh-huh. Which is why you have a new UK guidebook. And all of these pamphlets on your table from Wales and Scotland. And why you've suddenly been emailing people in Edinburgh."

"Everyone there will think I talk funny."

He gave me a look, and ignored that statement.

"Let's make a plan," he said. "Let's sit down and figure out all the things you'll have to do. Let's get you to Edinburgh. Your friends will still love you, your parents will still love you, and you'll be happier to be traveling again. There's nothing wrong with being disatisfied with your life as it is, Anna. It's chosing to continue to be so unhappy when there are solutions that will make you feel better that's the problem. If you want to wallow in being miserable, fine, but I think you'll feel better if we get everything sorted out to get you on a plane and happy."

So, we sat down, and made of list of everything either one of us could think of that would need to be done before I could go overseas. The list wasn't nearly as long as I thought it would be.

"Are you feeling any better?" he asked me as we finished it up.

I looked around my apartment. The walls didn't seem to be closing in so much.

"Yeah," I said. "Yes I am."

Estimated Departure Date: June 6th 2005


April 4, 2005

When I got to

Chinese New Year
When I got to China it was the Year of the Goat, and when I left, it was the Year of the Monkey. Lily of Infamy told me that parents what their kids to be born in the Year of the Monkey because they'll be clever and quick, like little monkies. Having spent time around small children, I can't really think of a lot of them that aren't already clever and quick like little monkeys, but whatever.
I looked forward to the Chinese New Year like a mad woman, but the whole thing was very disappointing. It's such a family holiday that no one I knew really thought to do anything with me. (I don't think I would have had a good time sitting around playing card games I don't know with people who don't speak English, which is a big part of the Chinese New Year, at least in Jiangyan.) Paul and I got together and let off firecrackers, which was a lot of fun. We drank alcohol, watched some videos, and basically hung out. At one point we walked around downtown Jiangyan, and the entire place was abandoned. It was very cold out, at least for China (that is, it was the middle of winter, and thus just about as cold as it is outside today in Edmonton), and the only place we could find open was the KFC. So, we had hot chocolate to warm up, then walked down the main street in the city. Usually it's so packed that you can't get anywhere quickly, and it was completely empty.
The whole thing was a lot of fun, in that strange way. Kinda like wandering around the streets on New Years Day in Canada, I guess. Nothing is open, and no one's around.
The monkey up above was taken in Nanjing. There were a lot of things there that indicated the new year celebration there had been a lot bigger of a deal. I have a bunch of other photos of the streets of Nanjing from the visit I took up there during the holiday. Lots of ice sculptures and weird things like that. Very colourful and the like.
I wish I had more stories about Chinese holidays. I have this sense that so much more was going on than what I was aware of (I have a gift from the boat races in Jiangyan during that time, but I didn't have any idea there was a boat race, or I would have gone), but at the same time the opportunity to just relax and not do anything with anyone watching was nice. During the holiday, the entire school was empty. I didn't feel like I was being stared at as much as I did the rest of the time.
One of the gifts I was given just before the new year was this lovely carved goat that everyone I know hates except me. I love the thing. I should get a pic of it and put it up for everyone. *grin*
See Also:
More on the streets of Nanjing during Spring Festival More on the streets of Nanjing during Spring Festival
So, Tom came to visit for the day yesterday and today, and it was a lot of fun. I'm kinda kicking myself now for not really planning a lot to do, or at least not having a lot of food in the house. *sigh* But on the other hand, I've only really been vaugly aware that Tom was gone. It was like seeing him again sorta crystalized for me that he's actually moved to Vancouver, is incredibly happy there, and is really enjoying his life. And thus, not likely to show up back in Edmonton again any time soon. I miss him like mad, but at the same time I'm so happy for him. Ah well, such is life, and it just means there's more people for me to visit the next time I'm in Vancouver.
In squeeing over the movie (Oh! I saw Sin City, did you hear? Yay!), I totally forgot to mention that I saw it with Tom, Crash and Lynette. I think seeing Crash and Lynette may have been better than seeing the movie. We went out for mediocre East Indian food, and talked about life and stuff, and it was great and relaxing to just get out of the house again with people I genuinely love spending time with. We hooked up with Tom, saw the movie (which I loved. Not that I'm driving everyone I know insane with the constant talking about this movie or anything), and then went out for coffee afterwards and talked about the movie, about gaming, about life. My two favorite comments were both from Crash.
"Sure, I'd play a Hogwarts Game. But only if I got to be a monster that ate all the students by the handful. And it can't be some pansy monster, it's got to be a real monster."
Later on, when we got back on the movie, I told everyone how it inspired me to want to kill Crash and then have wild passionate sex with Lynette in the pool of blood that would form. (Did I mention it's a gory film?)
"That sounds hot. Why don't you kill me right now?"
I love Crash. He's so darned cute.

April 3, 2005

You are in the top

You are in the top 12.66% richest people in the world. There are 5,240,103,492 people poorer than you. How do you feel about that? A bit richer we hope. Please consider donating just a small amount to help some of the poorest people in the world. Many of their lives could be improved dramatically or even saved if you donate just one hour's salary (approx $11.66)Oh, and in case you’re interested you are the 759,896,508 richest person in the world.

Just something I wanted to remember the next time I came home from work wanting to main my coworkers. How do you measure up?


April 2, 2005

I saw Sin City! I

I saw Sin City! I saw Sin City! I saw Sin City!

It was violent and gory and ugly! There was torture and blood and guts and gore and more blood and castration and that's not even counting the bits with the eating of people. I saw probably less than half of it, and actually had to leave the theater for about three minutes during one scene (Tom warned me, and he's a good judge of what I don't like), but I loved it. I loved it!

Lots of violence, lots of gore. Oh so appropriate. Heaven only knows why someone who has a standing rule of "Don't discsuss violence in front of Anna, it makes her sick" is such a big fan of these stories. (Of course, the advantage of reading them in a comic instead of watching them in a film is my eyes tend to skip right over the violent pictures and focus on other things.)

I will admit, since I am such a fangirl, that I noticed that one of my favorite lines was missing. "And if you're going to keep pistol whipping me like that, you should do it with the butt of the gun, not the barrel. You're going to warp it."

Let's see, I should say something other than Yay! Yay yay yay!

Um... Let's see. The cinematography is outstanding, with both the bright splashes of colour and some subtle uses of it that are very powerful. It's amazing. I think they did an excellent job of recreating the comic on screen. It's remarkable.

Jessica Alba can't act her way out of a paper bag. Gah. Also, one would think that the stripper would, at some point, actually take off her clothes, but I guess not. Oh well, it's not as bad as it could be, in that she at least looks incredibly sexy. But damn it, Nancy Callahan should actually get naked. *sigh*

(Unrelated comment: When I was thinking about this earlier today, I kept thinking, You know, I can think of friends who would have done a better job of that part, and would have looked damned sexy taking their clothes off, too. Then I thought, I probably shouldn't mention their names in my blog, though, because there's something a little creepy listing random friends that you want to see naked on the big screen. Man am I strange some days.)

It was violent to the point where there were audience reactions to the violence, and at least one girl left the theater in tears. Which I can understand. I was prepared for it. I knew where to close my eyes.

Oh, oh, I am totally going to go see this again. In fact, at least twice. I was so afraid I'd be disappointed in this, considering how much I've been looking forward to it, but I wasn't.

Goldie. She says her name is Goldie. She smells like angels ought to smell.


About April 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Anna Overseas in April 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2005 is the previous archive.

May 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.