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!)
Bitching and Moaning at the Internet
Thursday, 9 November 2006

Moan moan moan, whinge whinge whinge.

According to my darling (misguided, misinformed, misanthropist) flatmate, it’s official. “[I] shan’t be single for very much longer.”

Now, you should know two things: I’m a scientist. He’s a philosopher. Thus – all our conversations, at some point, reach the following end-game, “but what you define as X, I define as Y, therefore, we’re actually talking about the same things”. See, definitions are very important for both philosophers (weird) and scientists (empirical).

That description was so that you’d have a little bit of an idea exactly how much eyeball rolling I had to undertake in response to his statement.

1. Define single.
Do you mean: happily able to starfish on my bed every night and sleep with the window open because I love the feeling of snuggling down into my duvet? Are you referring to my surprising capacity for the unexpected, “where are you?” “oh, at the national aquarium – it’s really good have you been?”, “er, no” without informing people of my intentions or inviting attendees. Or do you mean the whiney Nomes who comes home shattered night after night and complains she has no one to snuggle under the duvet and watch crappy Czech TV with? Or massage her shoulders – so extraordinarily tense from a day of shouldering the entire burden of global health*.

2. Define “very much longer”.
Because let’s face it, I’m sure there was a point at which the first dinosaur looked at the other and said “hmm, not much longer till the species is wiped out you know”. And once upon a time, two glaciers were communicating (well, the whales trapped within the glaciers were singing to one another across the hills – it’s how yodelling was invented) and one said “gosh, if we continue melting at this rate, I’ll be gone in not much longer". On the other hand, there’s also the moment of greenstick crisis (syringe fresh from extracting the blood from the vein of a patient with ebola, magically realigns with the padded part of your thumb, pierces all seven layers of protective clothing and draws your very own pinprick of ‘clean’ (!!!?????) blood) where if you wait “very much longer” before hammering a cleaver into your forearm, your insides will melt and pour out through your eyes. Exactly which “very much longer” do you mean?

3. Define your source.
You know, the only reason anyone ever gets your thesis out of the library is to steal the bibliography. No one reads the ACTUAL text. Occasionally, someone may flip through the pages and remark, “ooh, nice graph”, or “ha, line break in the wrong place here” but that’s it. So, when writing a bibliography, you’re fairly certain that someone, somewhere, someday, will thank you for bringing a little comic relief to their godawfully boring job (of stealing reference lists so they don’t have to conduct any actual research themselves) by inserting fake references (it’s best to fake the number of the volume, or omit one word from the journal title so that the name could now be one of 120 possible permutations of the 5 words that contain “Journal”, “of”, “and” and “epidemiology”). Besides, as someone who dabbles in statistics, ALL of them are massaged in some manner – even if only by accident. And given the rumourmill of
Prague gossipmongers (apparently, there was Arborio rice at Tescos, but no…the shelves were bare!!!) I'm doubtful that the statement offered above was arrived at via communications with a reliable source.

So all in all, I’m still not miserable, but pissed off. Why? Because, as I'll patiently explain to anyone foolish enough to listen (or anyone who mistakenly considers the seat next to me on the tram as available), I’m (still) in the market for a humorous, sensitive, ambitious, kind and patient male who is smarter and taller than me, built like a cross between a whippet and a weasel, can cook, does buy wine, is musical, can solve quadratic equations in their head and has read literature.

It’s not like I asked to fly unaided to the moon, so why is it harder than nuclear physics??? And don't mention the internet. Bah humbug: Prague, Oklahoma? No you idiotic free-matchmaking non-service: Prague, Czech freaking Republic!

Even the darling flatmate pointed out, “Well Nomes, perhaps you shouldn’t be so definite when you say things**.”

Oh. Now I get it. I shouldn’t be myself, right? Should I bleach my hair while we’re at it, so as to APPEAR vulnerable***? Seems that I have to choose between frontal lobotomy, or pillows and duvet for one.


But in light of being a self-proclaimed scientist, I shall embark on a wee project/experiment. Over the next month, I shall represent myself as a mute spy. This shall have the (apparently) more desirable effect of a) shutting me up, and b) making me appear more ‘enigmatic’ and ‘mysterious’. I shall compare the number of dates I go on in the next month with the average number of ‘dates per month’ from my entire life (to date, ha ha) and see which projection of self is more successful. Of course, in this month, I may end up biting my own tongue off …which could render me less successful in the porn movie casting-couch line “and I give great blowjobs…”****

*rumour is, I have a tendency towards the melodramatic. Rumour, people. Unsubstantiated.
**apparently, it’s offputting when I tell someone that I don’t expect that we’re going to embark on THE AFFAIR OF A LIFETIME, and that I’d simply like to hang out with them more and get to know them better. Which I don’t quite understand, because everyone bangs on about “being more honest” yet, when you are, they go, “oh, you cold hearted bitch”. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT!?!??!?!?!
***According to the Czech newspapers (yes, somehow, this counts as journalism), blondes are vulnerable, black-haired girls are exotic and scary, while brunettes are the agony aunts to whom you turn when you’re having trouble with a blonde. And according to most of my acquaintances, I’m not vulnerable. So explain the salt rings on my pillowcases please?
****Never used*****, Dad, I promise!

posted by Nomes @ Thursday, November 09, 2006  
  • At 11:11 am, November 10, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Sorry GNomes,

    But you and quiet in the same sentence.....I don't think so.

    Don't worry about any scary being names. Apparently you get that from me. One of the meeting minutes for New Plymouth Aero Club actually minuted one of the guys saying: "But you're scary and you frighten people...." I kid you not! And I was the same age as you are now.

    Admittedly I had already married, but these days you're right at your peak for being "the" age at which serious relationships - ones that last and last and last, begin (I actually read the statistics).

    Good luck with your trip - I hope it refreshes you, and that your parcel arrives whilst you are away - post offices notwithstanding!

    Love and hugs, Mamma

  • At 9:18 am, November 13, 2006, Anonymous David said…

    "a humorous, sensitive, ambitious, kind and patient male who is smarter and taller than me, built like a cross between a whippet and a weasel, can cook, does buy wine, is musical, can solve quadratic equations in their head and has read literature"

    Hmmm... sounds like you're still looking for ME *modest bow*...

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