The Adventure Continues...

Rants, raves and random observations from an itinerant epidemiologist.

100 in 1000
  1. Spend a week up a mountain learning to ski
  2. Visit Karoline's place in Moravia
  3. Hold a conversation in Czech (only)
  4. Drink 500ml of each of the following beers:
    1. Pilsner
    2. Staroprammen
    3. Budvar
    4. Velke Popovice
    5. U Fleku
    6. Gambrinus
    7. Krusovice
  5. Respond to at least one GOARN request (WHO and MSF are also acceptable)
  6. Travel across the Atlantic
  7. Return to South America
  8. Read a book to, or with, an impressionably aged child
  9. Participate in one NanoWriMo Challenge and come within at least 10,000 words of the goal length
  10. Have my nose pierced
  11. Have my next tattoo drawn
  12. Purchase the perfect jeans (x 2 pairs)
  13. Attend a spin class 3 times a week for 8 consecutive weeks
  14. Bake Viv's cheesecake
  15. Make David's casserole
  16. Make David's Chicken Cashew-nut Stirfry
  17. Invite 4 people who don't know one another too well to dinner
  18. Ride from Vienna to Venice on a motorbike (pillion acceptable, those less desirable)
  19. Attend a book group for at least two books
  20. Go on a choir weekend (learn and perform difficult piece in two/three days)
  21. Visit Madame Tussaud's (in London)
  22. Take an architecture appreciation course
  23. Join an all-girl group and sing a solo
  24. Publish in a scientific journal (top two authors)
  25. Cook a duck or other 'waterfowl'.
  26. Locate the Al-Timimi's from Doha Veterinary Practise
  27. Have a pedicure
  28. Maintain a Brazilian (ouch) for three months.
  29. Find a trustworthy Czech hairdresser
  30. Treat my inner-6-year-old twice a week (at least)
  31. Do the liver-cleansing diet properly (12 weeks)
  32. Don't eat out for one month
  33. Find a flat and flatmate
  34. Purchase one Joseph sweater
  35. Purchase one of the following pairs of designer shoes (they MUST also be COMFORTABLE, and be able to be worn with 4 different outfits and 2 types of occasion): Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks, Christian Louboutin (Ebay or 2nd hand are acceptable)
  36. Send 5 books to the booksphere and track them.
  37. Go hanggliding
  38. Read 10 'classic' books (from 1001 Books to Read before you Die)
    1. Moll Flanders
    2. Everything is illuminated
    3. Madam Bovary
    4. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance
    5. Catch-22
    6. Odysseus
    7. On the Road
  1. Run (non-stop!) for 5kms outside (preferably in a street race thingy)
  2. Send Christmas Cards on time
  3. Make a collage/mural out of street lights on my wall
  4. Buy a bed, build it, and sleep soundly in it
  5. Go to Africa
  6. Host an 'event' (classified as and when)
  7. Organise a 30th Birthday Party
  8. Wear a costume
  9. Sing on stage
  10. Buy a painting that evokes memories of Prague (cannot involve queues!)
  11. Learn a god-damned card game that stays in my memory (other than fish/snap)
  12. See sunrise. Be sober. Have woken for it. Excludes months Nov-Mar
  13. Take a walk and flip coins at each intersection
  14. Win something
  15. Draft a will
  16. Take a roadtrip
  17. Go to Italy already
  18. Sea Kayak around Abel Tasman Park (NZ)
  19. Get plants
  20. Take a train to another Eastern European Destination (accession countries are acceptable) alone preferably.
  21. Get UK to give me a provisional motorcyclists license and simultaneously get a 'card' license.
  22. Go SCUBA diving again - at least two dives lasting 30mins each.
  23. Go to a dentist. *sigh*
  24. Do a Czech Wine Trail. And live to tell the tale
  25. Make an 'outbreak emergency kit'.
  26. Go to bed prior to 11pm every night (inc weekends) for four consecutive weeks.
  27. Marvel over lack of tiredness
  28. Dine at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant (or Nobu)- preferably for free.
  29. Bet on the nags
  30. Do something for charity (applying and getting a 'red card' will count)
  31. Walk along the Champs Elysee
  32. Do 100 sit ups in a row
  33. Do 50 pressups (arms in tight)
  34. Make branston pickle (or nearest substitute)
  35. Cook something 'new' and 'adventurous' at least once a month
  36. Find a mentor
  37. Be a mentor
  38. Learn what mentoring is all about
  39. Meet an online person in real life
  40. Resist the flirt. Once. Just one night. It's okay if people don't immediately succumb to my natural charm. Really it is.
  41. Spend time at a spa (spa towns in the CR don't count)
  42. Send a care package to someone
  43. Get a Tata Bojs CD
  45. Order new contact lenses.
  46. Make a list of things I take with me when I pack for different occasions
  47. Eat lobster. Prepared by someone else.
  48. Back up the blog
  49. Put everything onto an external hard drive
  50. Find a DDR mat and console and 'dance, I say dance!'�
  51. Go to the beach and lie on the warm sand. For an hour. (with sunscreen on, natch)
  52. Take and complete a course in either: Tango, Salsa or Flamenco
  53. Join the Municipal Library of Prague
  54. Move to another country
  55. Go to a live concert of a band I actually like
  56. Pay off debts (student loan excl.)
  57. Send thank you cards for every gift I receive (other than the gift of happiness, blah blah blah).
  58. Get an agent (literary or theatre)
  59. Go to a sports bar without cringing, by personal choice
  60. Ride a rollercoaster
  61. Hold a snake
  62. Spend a day wandering around a museum (not art gallery!)
Pirates: oo-Argh!!
Wednesday, 7 June 2006
It would seem that people REMAIN disinclined to send me actual jokes (as in, those semi amusing strings of words that one can commit to memory for the purpose of making others smile later) and would rather a) point me in the direction of auction sites, b) make vague references to sea monsters or c) argue another point.

Surprise on the candidates for c)!!!

Anyway. Prompted by the ex to do my OWN googlesearch (too obvious!), I’ve since found this which offers a reasonable description for the origin of the ‘pieces of eight’ idea.

The search for “arr jim-lad” is somewhat more obfuscated, mainly by the possibility of incorrect spelling. Who knows exactly how the primary author of this phrase originally wrote it. I could fit more r’s, more h’s and probably a g or two in it as well, but bearing in mind my English English language, I could even squeeze a ‘silent w’ into it if I really tried hard. But I did learn that Boris Andreyev played Long John Silver in the Russian screen adaptation of the novel. The novel that I really must read one of these days.

Even more disturbing is the number of ‘bizarre links’ (said in the Nevermind the Buzzcock’s voice, please) that one can encounter when looking up something seemingly esoteric (such as ‘arr jim-lad’!). My favourite (yes, one must click on several at random, just to see if they are worthwhile) was definitely a whole page devoted to counting the number of different spellings of aargh, the matrix that (inevitably) results and the number of webpages related to each different spelling (including statistical significance as portrayed visually using colour intensity!).

I’m sorry, did someone say ‘too much time on hands?’?

What I want to know is that it seems we’re getting (or at least, we have an awe-inspiring amount of access to) a rather vast breadth of ‘information’. And the quotation marks are there in case someone wants to argue with me over the definition of the word ‘information’. But, I know from my own personal experience, that the exposure to information that I’m subjected to seems inversely proportional to a) the amount I care and b) the ability to retain said information.

Is it brain overload? Is this a latent autism structure that we’re now building into the psyche of every-child (2s audio-visual ‘bites’ now being the equivalent of a ‘news flash’ on children’s television productions)? Are we encouraging people to learn or to think? What am I doing with the extra brain space that isn’t being filled with this junk (devoting it to ‘ignoring’ said junk?)?

Or is my seemingly ‘too many windows open for memory’ warning sign merely an indication of too many nights with my friends, Messrs Smirnhoff, Stolichnaya and Finlandia?

To add insult to injury, aren’t you rather impressed with the duration of time for which one can expound on pirate-related topics! And we haven’t even seen Pirates of the Carribean II yet (the presence of Johnny will promote even MORE expounding, I promise/threaten you!)

I know shoehorns are the best/easiest way to slip shoes on. I, however, don’t use them. I much prefer the ‘wiggle your ankle’ method (unless it’s sprained, in which case, this is the one movement that reminds you when you’ve forgotten due to overdosing in Diclofenac) or alternatively the toe-scrunch method. Yes, it’s true, I put my shoes on badly, despite having been brought up by a Mum (hiya!) who always reminded me HOW to put the (many) shoes I’d begun to acquire on.

Yet, in all of my life, I’ve never been to a place, or lived amongst people who REALLY use the shoehorn. But here I am, in the Czech Republic. I’m not sure what the national symbol is (probably related to ice-hockey – ooh, no, it’s a lion *yawn*) but I really do think it ought to be a shoe horn. People use the damned things to get into slingbacks (seriously). You can get shoehorns of different lengths (obviously) and different materials (um, all are slippy though). Which is how (one assumes) we have ended up with two shoe horns in my office (shared with one other). Both of which are used by only one person. Guess who it ain’t?

Speaking of shoes, have I mentioned previously that the word ‘comfort’ is frequently bandied about to describe why people wear particular clothing. Many, MANY times, I’ve sat on a tram, been struck – as though by lightning – by the fabulous lines of some guy’s jaw/cheekbone structure and done the full look up and down thing (a.k.a. the Czech stare, it’s almost invited, let alone permitted). Decent(ish) haircut, Czech! Bright eyes (and moist nose, yes yes), Czech! Broad shoulders, strong looking neck, Czech. Tapered torso, slim hips, strong thighs, Czech. All going well so far. Then: ARGH!!!! SOCKS AND SANDALS! WHITE! WITH JEANS!!!!!!! *hysterical sobbing*

Decent-ish, when referring to a haircut, takes into consideration our geographic positioning in Central/Eastern Europe. When one thinks that the Czech Republic is in ‘eastern europe’, one is prompted to remind oneself that Vienna is further east than Prague is. Oooh! However, when it comes to fashion, I think Vienna may as well be San Francisco for the difference in style. For instance, stonewash denim is a really big thing here. In fact, you don’t have to TRY very hard to come across a person who will, for instance, be wearing patchy jeans. These aren’t the ‘worn’ patches that are in shops elsewhere, but patches of different material. I saw a ‘marvellous’ cord/denim mix the other day: denim on the right buttock, cord on the left, denim on the left thigh, cord on the right…etc. And the ubiquitous socks with sandals. So we all know that stonewash denim requires the mullet haircut to really finish the look. So, hair immediately begins to develop into a mullet when you get here, regardless of how it started. You could arrive with an undercut, and within a few weeks, the ‘under’ would have started to grow faster than the ‘over’. It’s true. So it is, that I’m unable (now) to pour scorn on others for their choice of 80’s hair-‘do’s (or don’t’s, if you prefer), since my very own mop is now longer in the back than…(sorry Altos!)

Am off to Azerbaijan tomorrow. Have never been flown so far, for such a little contribution. Am now trying to fill our dance card so that not a moment there is wasted. So far, we’re visiting with the Min of Health, BP (who are flying us in) and USAID. Keeps me out of mischief for a weekend at least…will be back Sunday, so you’ll hardly notice my absence. Have a good weekend all! X

*ahem* if you’re really interested in this web-language phenomenon, you can start by looking at which links to many other such sites. You know you want to…
posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, June 07, 2006  
  • At 4:16 am, June 08, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,
    All I can say is "get thee behind me, Satan". You really shouldn't publish links that I feel obliged to check out. I spend enough damned time on this machine as it is. I think I'll have to start the AA's 12 step programme for not looking at all your links!
    Good luck with the Azeri trip. Hope all the meetings' personnel are suitably impressed and that this time you get job offers, not any other!
    We're away to Rockhamptom tomorrow, which will make a nice change, just for the sake of it. We'll also hit the high spots in Yeppoon (which as you can imagine doesn't have any).
    Speak to you next week. Love, Mums

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