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!)
Catalytic converter
Saturday, 30 December 2006
A catalyst is described as being something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.

Happy New Year blogreaders.

P.S. No photos. Camera broken from Christmas. GOOD Christmas!
posted by Nomes @ Saturday, December 30, 2006   1 comments
Q’s Last Request
Friday, 22 December 2006
Continuing with the assumption that I am rich and famous, I have decided to change Q’s last request article (this month: Moby) and interview myself. Chalk this one up to “reasons to have a blog”.

How have you checked out?
Headlines will either read: “Researcher dies of own disease” as I die of some horrible syndrome named after me that I discovered (and subsequently named) OR “Grand Dame of Epidemiology dies Peacefully” (by that you can read: in her sleep)

The last song playing in your head was…
Probably the last one I heard a small snippet of, while being wheeled to the hospital or before I drifted off into sleep. It’ll be something ridiculous: Dancing Queen, Macarena, The Ketchup Song. Pity me now.

Where did you first hear it?
In a car. On a free/moterway/autobahn. With the top up and the stereo cranked. I never realised how much I'd miss driving.

Three other songs for your funeral playlist?
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Nancy Sinatra
Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps – Doris Day
Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
Solely because it will be the novel for the audience gathering to hear these songs without my voice.

To make the audience cry:
On my own – Les Miserables
You must love me – Evita
Drink with me – Les Miserables

And to make them laugh:
Grizabella the gumbie cat – Cats
U don’t dance to techno anymore – Alabama3
Cantaloupe – US3
Connected – Stereo MC’s

..oh hell, basically, put my iPod on shuffle and leave it be!

Who’s on your guest list?
Everyone who’s ever met me. I’d rather there were more of the people who thought, “now SHE’S pretty cool” instead of those who thought, “Oh my god, she’s insane!”, but dead people aren’t so choosy.

Burial or cremation?
I did think perhaps the “twang ‘im into a tree” approach, but have since decided that I’m gonna go up in flames.

The service will run as follows…
Everyone will turn up at the parlour/cremation place – I don’t want a ‘sit-in’ cos that’s grim and the process of decay would’ve already started. Blee.

Anyway: you arrive. There’s a party atmosphere. Possibly a piñata. Drinks are handed out. I’m already on the trolley, ready to be reheated. Someone has to perforate my…oh no…hang on…that’s lunch.

Okay, so drinking, listening to my music. Someone’s gotta start a rather random eulogy session. I’m nominating you, Nine. People piping up with anecdotes along the lines of “oh my god, were you there when she…” or some fans and follow with “did you read the bit where…”

After an enjoyable hour of getting plastered and trying to outcompete each other with Nomi-tales you’ll realise that it was all blogged anyway, and everyone knows me as well as I do.

When the last slightly audible sigh at the end of the last story has been heard, the gurney will start (as if by magic, but in reality, some kid’ll have the remote control) and I’ll go into the chamber. You’ll only notice that I’m halfway through the curtains already, when someone points it out. (notice: I haven’t ever been to a cremation, I have NO IDEA how this works) and will turn and watch as I disappear for good.

Heavy hearted, you’ll all think sombre thoughts till someone says, “shit, who’s gonna take her blog down?”. Then the party will slowly disperse. I don’t want you to all go to a venue for food afterwards, but if you must, then fish’n’chips on a beach for my family and select friends (9, D, etc.) would be ‘k with this ghost.

The biggest question is:
where the hell will I have my body repatriated to? And who can fly there in time? And who’s gonna get the bubbles in? Maybe you can all bring your own bottle and glass. Now THAT’S more like it. A BYO Cremation.

First person you’ll call in the afterlife?
Mae West.

One person you’ll want sent downstairs?
Despite not believing in the upstairs/downstairs divide, or even the afterlife, I reckon that anyone who should be in the cellar will already be. Of course, that might include me, and Ms West, so if I can send anyone upstairs, I’d do that instead.

The epitaph on your tombstone will read:
“Now, which shoes go with this whole death thing…?”
posted by Nomes @ Friday, December 22, 2006   0 comments
Thursday, 21 December 2006
The Czech’s have developed an intriguing method of communication. It’s known amongst us more angsty, fed up, expats as “The Czech Stare”. It’s now gotten to the point where I’m so aggressive on a tram that if anyone stares at me, instead of looking away and hoping that they’ll stop, I look them right in the eye, tilt my head, jut out my jaw and raise one eyebrow, as though to convey “What the f*ck do you think you’re looking at?”. If I’m feeling particularly annoyed, I add an up and down eye sweep to change the tone to a more “Who the hell do you think YOU are to look at me like that?”. The thing is, all these ‘eyeball dagger combinations’ are met with absolute dumb blankness. So they still win.

UNTIL, you give them REASON to stare. It’s incredible. Last Saturday, I went out looking like this:
And people looked at me, their eyes widened in horror as they whispered “kočička” to their nearest kamarad, and they couldn’t bring themselves to even turn their bodies in my direction for the duration of the tram ride.

But I was the only photo taken in the toilet downstairs! Now that IS fame!

Hoorah! I’ve found the way to beat the Czech Stare. Alfred Nobel…eat your medal-etched-profile out.
posted by Nomes @ Thursday, December 21, 2006   1 comments
Guide to Dating Men in the Czech Republic - What NOT to do
Tuesday, 19 December 2006
*ahem* Look AWAY parents. Now, please.*

  1. Drink copious quantities of bad red wine.
  2. Get maudlin with friends who are soon to depart.
  3. See them safely home.
  4. Contact Mr. Unsuitable**.
  5. Arrange to meet in town.
  6. Go to the wrong place.
  7. Wander through crowded club at 2am.
  8. Fake a phone call outside with flatmate so that people don’t realise you have NO MATES.
  9. Collect new sms with new venue.
  10. Walk through town at 2.30am.
  11. Drink cathartic (and warming) shots of vodka.
  12. Dance with Mr. Unsuitable’s friend.
  13. Be driven to Mr. Unsuitable’s house.
  14. Wish you were home.
  15. Crawl into Mr Unsuitable’s single bed, first climbing over his friends mattress on the floor.
  16. Try (drunkenly) to 'get it on'. (it gets worse from here)
  17. Be gently (wisely) rebuked.
  18. Develop drunken strop, and storm off, depositing borrowed t-shirt in bathroom.
  19. Stand at the main door to the building, shaking the door knob because the door’s locked.
  20. Wait to be let out.
  21. Expound (slurringly) on any or all of the following themes:
    1. I want to be wanted. (Under no circumstances should you attempt to sing this in a “10 things I hate about you” kind of way. It does not work).
    2. I’m tired of playing ridiculous, petty and idiotic games where you’re supposed to wait (time text received) – (time text sent) + ((time text received) – (time text sent))/ before continuing corresponding.
    3. I’m tired of caring for everyone else’s welfare and having no one to care about mine.
    4. No one would notice if I died until my putrefying body had dribbled through the mattress and started seeping out the door of my room. (10 points if you can say putrefying on the first attempt – and have it recognised as a word by the weary listener)
    5. I’m tired of trying to behave like a 17-year-old*** when all I want to do is behave like an adult.
    6. I just want to go home. Please let me go.
  22. Walk out the door.
  23. Knock on the door for directions to the tram stop.
  24. Walk three steps past the building and sink to your knees gnawing on your knuckles thinking "You're such an idiot! You know your motto...never breakdown...certainly not in front of someone else and for god's sake not in front of someone without the desire to cope with it! ARGH!"
  25. Be stunned (Norwegian Blue style) when Mr Unsuitable exits building, poorly dressed for the cold, finds you, crouches down and wraps his arms around you and waits till you’re done.
  26. Be persuaded that you COULD actually just come and sleep in the bed where it was warm, and would be taken home in the morning
  27. Go back upstairs feeling like a complete dork
  28. Presume you’ll despise yourself in the morning
  29. Wake up reasonably perky (likely, still semi-inebriated)
  30. Apologise for acting like a dick (well, actually, this IS something you should do)
  31. Be reassured that you hadn't. (Because, you so did!)
  32. Be taken home. (About 10hrs too late to humiliate yourself, but sobeit)

Apparently, this is neither the way to appear mysterious, glamorous nor desirable. Who’da thunk it?

*This farcical instruction indicates to them that, under no circumstances should they indicate that they have read this. They pretend they haven't read it, and so do I, knowing full well that they have. Yet, my delusions and poor excuse for a personality can remain undiscussed at the next family get-together. Hoorah.
**Last spotted screaming and headed for the hills. Surprised?
***Yeah, I know. It’s ironic, innit?

posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, December 19, 2006   0 comments
Brrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg Pt. II
Monday, 18 December 2006
Do you leave your phone on at night? All night?

I do. It's mainly because I don't want to miss those drunken calls from people I once sat next to in high school, who have found my profile on myspace and spent the better part of an evening underlit by green light while hacking into government databases to find my telephone number. These calls go something along the lines of,


Naomi? Is that you?

Uh-huh…who's this?
[curiousity piqued, voice returns to almost normal]

Were you asleep? I'm sorry for waking you, what time is it there?

Realising that whoever they are, they're not in the same time zone]
2.34 in the morning, why, what time is it there?
[figuring I'll miraculously know who it is when I can place their time zone]

Oh, it's about nine-thirty here, and I've got a bunch of friends around, we were just doing some internet searches for people we used to know. It's Tony by the way.

[Nonplussed and totall unaided by the time reference, not having, as it ought, a morning or evening stamp!]
[Because repetition makes you more plussed.]

Ohhhh Tooohhhny
[just to make them feel good and amputate this line of conversation]

How ARE you?

I'm fine thanks. I've got a marvellous husband, three children, I'm a rocket scientist, have published three books – one of which went to the top of the NY Times list and has been bought to turn into a movie, and things are just great. What about yourself?

[Quick appraisal of the situation: flippancy the only possible comeback]
oh, you know me, still saving the world…

The way I figure it, everyone needs an esteem buster at 2.34am, so I just never turn the phone off.

posted by Nomes @ Monday, December 18, 2006   0 comments
*Brrrrriiiinnngggg* ... AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!
Friday, 15 December 2006
The office phone here, terrifies me. Face-to-face, you can use limbs to demonstrate your needs. Not so, on the phone.

I’ve got a spiel that I say when someone calls for Vlad:
“Dobrý den…”
“blah blah blah Príkazský” (i.e. his sirname)
”Ah, Pani Doktor Príkazský neni tady, bude asi triset minut, doufam”
Ah, Mr Dr Príkazský isn't here, he will be in about 30mins, I hope.
”blah blah blah děkuju”
”Děkuju, na shledanou”

Thus far, this has been accepted, understood and even complimented upon, “your Czech sounds very nice now”. Apparently, it didn't before.

But MAKING a phone call makes me cry, "Please no, don't make me do it *sob*", while collapsing into "rabbits in their burrows" position in my chair, simultaneously doing "wide-eyed stare of horror".

However, the tether terminus was surpassed some time ago; my legs are so hirsute: I’ve no need for tights; and the paint on my toenails is chipped beyond repair. This needs to be addressed. Stat!

Zlaté Stránky: there are 23 pedicure palaces in Prague. TWENTY THREE! So I call one of the two within a 10km radius of my house and my office. Next week is not 'stat'.

Take dvě.
“Dobrý den, blah blah blah..”
“Dobrý den, mluvíte anglicky?”
”Bohuzel ne, co vas potrebujete?”
”Mluvím trochu český, potřebuju pedikura, a depilace celý nohy, máte čas dneska, nebo zitra?”
”Depilace no, ale pedikura...blah blah moment”
”um...a...ano, moment.”
”no, máme čas, nejdřív depilace, potom pedikura, patnact hodin.”
”Padnact...” furiously translating, ”dobře, děkuju, přijdu!”
“Přijdete? vyborně. jak se jmenuete?”
“Naomi, a moje telefon čislo je šest nula osm…”
“Naomi, šest nula osm…supr, uvidíme!”
“Tak, uvidím, na shledanou.”
”Na shle.”

I felt soooooooo good.

Until I saw the scalpel.

Quick question for comments: Wicked, Lion King, Cabaret, Chicago or Stomp. I can't decide. HELP!
posted by Nomes @ Friday, December 15, 2006   3 comments
Things on my mind:
Monday, 11 December 2006
Polyphasic sleep – would it work, could I do it, would I enjoy it?

Nakladni Hermelin – I gotta get some more….it’s like, um, crack, but for cheese lovers.

Weblog Awards 2006 – the best diarists are a bunch of twats. Thank god no one nominated me.*

MAC – sms teases of a MAC counter in Prague.

Dummy – is Nine really coming over for an extended period?

Ulysses – let’s see how how my new acquaintance with (the introduction to) Joyce affects le Blog, yes?

Turning people into frogs – or at least, letting them down gently.

Feeling bad – forgot the ex’s birthday a while ago: happy birthday babe! Um, how old are you now?

Embarrassed gratitude – for a great write-up. For blogging about, well, shite really.


*no, seriously, I was gutted that they were all shite. Including the naked chick. How could the organisers select them from all those nominated.

** It'd better be bloody good!

posted by Nomes @ Monday, December 11, 2006   1 comments
I'll show you mine, if you show me yours...
Friday, 8 December 2006
When I was young, and behaving deliciously inappropriately with people much older than me, we used to play the “compare scar stories” game.

Now my playmates have all grown up, I’m going to play it with you instead:

1. Possibly my first major head trauma (there were many – I thought it obvious), I leapt off the changing table in an unprecedented (and sadly, unrecorded) gymnastic display. No doubt my parents considered, briefly, that I was going to be a leotard-wearing-anorexic-chinese-or-russian gymnast later in life. Before they collected my semi-conscious shell from the floor in the corner, where it lay bloody and still. I’ve always loved the element of surprise. To their astonished delight, I hadn’t managed to hang my left eyeball on the “only metal in the room” hinge of a sideboard, and had merely scraped my browbone instead.
Now, oddly, I have noticed a great many people of a similar age, with a similar scar in a similar space. I suspect there was one batch of formula that was momentarily contaminated with the stuff they give those gymnasts to keep them breathing.

2. When I was a young whippersnapper who liked to climb trees, build huts and play a variant of Robin Hood and Star Wars which meant that I could surround myself with the neighbourhood boys (and therefore, have minions do my bidding upon demand), we used to play in an area at the back of my house (accessible only through a rusted and vine’d gate (it really was like a fairytale) that we called “the bank” (because, lo, it was a steep bank). At the bottom of The Bank was a Scout Hut, and we seldom went down that far (it involved some rather inelegant ‘scrabbling’) but every now and then, we’d be adventurous. One such adventure saw me have the classic ‘rake on the ground’ accident, where a cartoon character steps on the prongs and is smacked in the head. In my incident: I stepped on a twig (branch) with my left foot, and kept exploring with my right, which led to the stick embedding itself in my right shin. Blood. Everywhere. Parents? None-the-wiser, as I had cleverly applied a poultice of spit, leaves and grass to the wounds.

3. One day, I was visiting a terrarium at the zoo. I was tagging along behind a bunch of schoolkids who were visiting too, so that I could get the free ‘tour’. Anyway, while handling a spider, and showing how harmless it was to the kids – despite the fangs that it waved at everyone – the guide dropped it. It scurried up the wall, and most of the kids screamed. I may have even squealed. The guide quickly sprayed it (with what, we will never know) but it had already crawled up the wall. Bugger this ‘chemical’ crap, thought your fearless Nomes, who then squished the spider against the wall. Sadly, the chemicals reacted poorly with my skin – and…
a. …nah – I had a mole removed by an incompetent doctor working at a student medical clinic. Judging by his masterful butchery here, I’m surprised I wasn’t involved in any clandestine drug trials.

4. When I was engaged to l’infamous-tranny-shagger, I felt queasy one day (intuition?). I still didn’t feel well the next day, and the day after that, I stopped eating (ipso facto, the priest was on his way round for last rites). Eventually, I visited a doctor who told me to “wait in the reception, and we’ll get you to the hospital”. “Um, but I have my car, I could just drive it there…”, “er, no, I don’t think that’s wise”, “but I drove here 30 minutes ago”, “yes, and I’d rather you hadn’t done that either.” At the hospital, I waited in the emergency department for what seemed an interminably long time, before being informed I was going to have a telescope put into my belly. I made the junior doctor blush by asking when the laproscopy would occur, and was wheeled away to a less embarrassing ward. Then all the surgeons went on strike. Eventually, after many uncomfortable “but I’ve just drunk a litre of water, you can’t tell me to wait for the ultrasound” issues that involved the phrase “just let a little bit go, then”, I was eventually whipped away for surgery. Moments (it seemed) later, I was re-engaged (don’t ask) and throwing up into bowls everywhere. After a horrible night matron caused me to wonder whether an airbubble in my IV would cause my veins to explode, and a blood gatherer had turned me into a pin cushion, I was left with this reminder of my fun days in hospital.

And last, but not least:

5. Knee operation to repair ACL injury gained while grading at NZ Freestyle Martial Arts. Ick! ‘Nuff said. I still haven’t got the feeling back in the skin (the first few layers, deeper down, I can feel stuff) on the left hand side of the vertical scar.

Now it’s your turn. Biggest and worstest scar please. And 9 wins already for the quantity – she’s a vet!
posted by Nomes @ Friday, December 08, 2006   3 comments
Guide to Dating Men in the Czech Republic – Expats*
Thursday, 7 December 2006
Location: internet café: Bohemia Bagels
He wears: black jeans, t-shirt with logo, jacket, scarf, Puma sneakers. Backpack. Hair growing out from a shortish cut.
“So, I came here because, well Prague’s got this, like, amazing architecture and, y’know, I wanted to learn a foreign language after I finished college. I hear the best way is to get a girlfriend, if you know what I mean. And man, the girls here are HOT. Did you see the blonde that just walked by? Her waist must’ve been, what, 20 inches all around. I bet she’s up for it. Yeah.
It’s weird here though, everything’s different than it is at home. The McDonalds’ have weird names for stuff. Burger Royale, what’s with that?
We’re considered hot stuff here, man *nudging silent friend*. We can get dates like that *snaps fingers*. It’s ‘cos the chicks think we’re great, ‘cos we’re, like, much smarter and funnier than the Czechs. You should see it though, it’s crazy when we walk in, it’s like we’re celebrities or something. *snigger* “innit!”
Hang on, I just got a message. *checks screen* Ha! This chick wants me really bad, man. She’s been texting all week. But nah, I had ‘er last weekend – she wasn’t all that.
Did you say you were a Doctor? What kind? Oh, does that mean you know about rashes? I seem to have one, y’know…”

Location: Zlaty Casy (golden time)
He wears: jeans, Grey Diesel sneakers, sports jersey, zip down cardigan. Thinning hair in short, no-nonsense cut. Body well managed, though evidence of beer gut developing.
“I’m actually really looking forward to settling down, and having a family of my own.”
“Really? Have you a girlfriend?”
“No, not yet. But I’m actively searching, not just “looking”. I really want to find the right person, the mother of my children; my soulmate. Does that make sense?”
“Perfect sense. So, who has your attention now?”
“Well, see that girl there?”
“Um, the blonde with the vacant expression, wearing the glo-mesh top, lurex hotpants and a bodystocking with holes in it?”
“Yeah – that one…”
“ – the one who’s dancing lethargically off-beat, and not in a ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ way, in the balcony in this sorry excuse for a club?”
“yep, she’s…”
“You actually mean the go-go dancer with cerebal palsy who somehow doesn’t know when the bridge is arriving in Alvin and the Chipmunks version of Locomotion?”
“um, yeah…she’s really...”
“Hot. I should get her number. Hey! Where’re you going?”

Location: upmarket café for lunch
He wears: corduroy pants in a dark colour. Chambray button down shirt. Black leather loafers. Ostentatious keyring, phone combination sits on table between glasses. Hair: buzzcut to obscure tendancy towards balding. Jowly. Ruddy complexion.
“I don’t know, my last partner, she was Czech. And you know, people always said that it was destined not to last. But my parents met her and they loved her. I took her to see them on our second weekend together. She even cooked with my mother.
So we came back to Prague, and I started saving up for a house, that she wanted. She was so cute, she had a job too, but the idea was that as soon as we had the house, we’d marry, then she’d become a stay at home Mum, which we could afford, ‘cos I’m getting a huge salary, right?
Anyway, things were pretty good for about 6 months. Then, just as we were putting the deposit down on the house, things went a little awry.
Yeah, she stopped talking to me nicely, started putting on weight, complaining about having to work for long hours and stuff. So I told her to take it easy, I was worried she was overdoing it, you know how some career women are.
Anyway, turns out that she was still seeing her Czech boyfriend. The one she moved into the house as soon as we’d put the deposit down, and she’d kicked me out. Yep, she’d been seeing him the whole time, the bitch. I’d never suspected a thing.
I lost the entire lot, Nomes, because we put the house in her name because we were going to be married anyway, and it meant we didn’t have to open a business or any of all that.

I wonder how she is now. Maybe I should call her. Nah…bad idea isn’t it?

So yeah, I’m still a little bit sore about that whole incident. But I think I’m getting over it, and ready to continue to find someone who’s right for me.

Anyway, so do you want to come over one night? I roast a great ham. And it’s not like my house is dirty or anything, I have a maid come over and do the cleaning and ironing once a week. It’s amazing, she only charges 30Kc an hour. It’s next to nothing. So I let her help herself to coffee and tea while she’s there too, you know, show a bit of compassion.

Hey, you know what, we should go meet my parents, you’d LOVE them. Seriously, we could go to the pub down their road and…Are you okay? How come you’re pulling on your earlobe so much? Is there something wrong?”
posted by Nomes @ Thursday, December 07, 2006   5 comments
I wasn't gone, except in my head.
Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Ever have that feeling when your minds full of bits of fluff (affectionally known as dust-bunnies-with-myxomatosis) and there’s no thread hanging it all together? Disjointed Nomes (the spy). Now there’s a “nick” that might get me more dates. The following entry is colour coded for a tiny bit more (but quite possibly not) clarity.

On the good side (is that the flip one? Or is that the opposite from the flop side? Or is that a pair of jandals (argh – god – I’ve never called them that?!)? Or if by flop, we mean ‘idiot features’ then really, the flip side (as opposed to flop) must be good, right?)….the point was, I have just received a book called “No one cares what you had for lunch” which promises 100 ideas to make this blog infinitely more reader-vaccuumesque (that is,I want it to be the black hole of readers, where readers arrive and CANNOT. LEAVE. THE. HYPERTHRUST. ENGINES. CANNY. DO. IT. CAP’N.)

Do you see how I just got a whole load of trekkie fans a’board? Ta-dah. That book is genius.

Truth is, that trick wasn’t even IN the book (and we wonder why some of us remain unpublished, putting merely our blog up for readers instead of raking in the cash and drinking Veuve out of Swarowski champagne flutes (they're so SPARKLY!)) but the tricks therein promise to ensure that you shall be so much more entranced and excited about this blog, that you'll even make it your HOME PAGE!

(You know, there are some days when I love having a blog, which means I can write absolutely RIDICULOUS stuff, and you, my darling lovely readers (DLR’s) are compelled to read through it just in case I mentioned YOUR. NAME. I know that’s all you read it for, so stop pretending otherwise. THIS is power.)

The only thing to cheer you up after your wallet has been pinched from your closed bag (but how?! David bloody Copperfield’s having a laugh) is to spend more money. Mainly on planning a weekend away in a large city, where there will be sales of clothes (and other stuff) and there are many MANY shows going on. Very few people shall know when I will arrive, as I intend to luxuriate in the selfishness (there is no limit, Dad, none!) that is “Nomes a Londres sans anyone else”!

Because, I had fully anticipated enjoying La Traviata last night at the National Opera (surtitles in English – hooray). But no: no wallet = no id. No id = no ticket collection.

Interview question (for future job application): is it possible to realise your lifestyle and job goals in this country?

Parents: stop reading here.

I’m not entirely sure whether to be flattered or disturbed at having received a Tuesday night offer of “three for two”. I mean, it’s all very well attending particular clubs at the weekend (and leaving with that vague sense of “um, but no one’s hot!?!”) but when the disclaimer “oh, and he has a girlfriend, so time is of the essence” is added, I’m a little more reluctant than thrilled. Still, I’ll go meet. That bit can’t hurt. Unless he’s a fetish for spanking, in which case…

Okay, it’s safe again.

Am a little disappointed with BBC’s Generation Next “Your dreams, now” webpage. They have a list of people who’s “dreams” to read about, and how those people achieved their dreams. There’s only ONE woman on a list of SIX, and she’s a Dame and a sportswoman. Not that I have anything wrong with sportswomen at all, but come on. There’s gotta be one or two more celebrated woman in fields of Economics, Politics, Science, Literature? Surely. I mean, even M. Thatcher must’ve had a dream at some point. No? I was a child in the 80’s, I’ve no idea.

There is something vaguely wrong about the “policie” dressed as SWAT standing outside the Synagogue on Jerusalemska using both hands to check his mobile phone for sms. I mean, is that how they get orders these days? And how do you bark “hut hut hut” as txt? The rest of the policie force are hanging around pedestrian crossings with air-traffic controller sticks, attempting to wave down traffic and prevent it from squishing little Mirek on his way to school. This is, apparently, normal. What, you mean you don’t have fully-fledged officer manning pedestrian crossings in your country? How DO you get across the road in one piece?

There’s not a great amount I want for Christmas, but if any DLR's are wondering what to get their favourite blogger for a pressie (except Mamma, who already did her bit, perfectly I might add), this'd be considered marvellous. And I need to strike off the "thank you card" thing on the list - so hurry up already.

Not being able to watch The Amazing Race which is the only reality tv show worth watching (just for possible shots of people I know – shots, not shootings), I have decided to include this bloke on my oversized blogroll (why!?!? Why is the font so huge? Anyone with a M.CSS? HELP!).

There are also some other great writers I’ve recently stumbled upon. So theyr’e new too. Welcome aboard, people who aren’t going to read my blog or add me to their blogroll *bitter sob*.

Had my interview today. Poor writer. She got her ear talked off by a ranting Nomes. Never pretty at the best of times, worse if you’re footing a TelecomNZ phone bill, even if it will (eventually) be reimbursed. I’ll raise a glass of (awful) frankovka to you Jen, because the Svařak has too much sugar in it, and the last thing I need on top of goulash and dumplings is sugar (it’ll all ferment in my belly and I’ll explode – science fakt jo).

Am wearing some of the pantyhose that mum (ick, that word – tights!) that Mamma sent me in the Christmas box (though I’m still not sure WHY she sent me them, one thing we DO have in the CR is tights – mainly because they’re the only thing holding old ladies ankles together – which are worn preferably as knee highs, under skirts – extra points if it’s not in your skin colour). And one leg is miraculously, again, twisted. This simply defies logic, gravity, and about a hundred of Newtons laws (some by Edison and Marconi thrown in there too). They were fine when I put them on. But somehow, during the bus trip, the 50m walk and the past 3 hours of sitting down at my desk, the right leg has twisted 180degrees. I wonder if someone somewhere is having a laugh at the gangrenous effect it’s having on my circulation.

Oh, and I think my nearest and dearest friends here (Adam, Mollie, Eri & Kat – two of whom are shortly departing this world*) learnt something new this weekend about me. If I were a size 10 (or hell, even a size 00 – though the amount of surgery required to bring that on would deplete world stocks of anesthetic, so be grateful all you people who need medical surgical intervention) I would be the white-trashiest dresser you’ve ever seen. No cashmere for me thanks, I’ll stick to the glo-mesh and lurex. Bare bellies? You betcha tiny pert-gold-lycra-hot-pant-clad ass I’d have my belly on display. I’d have so much flesh on display, I’d probably catch hypothermia every year. In the Bahamas.

So be grateful – world – that I’m not small. Otherwise I would be up there on the pages of “non-celebrity” gofugyourself that we all play at the *insert fave people-watching place here*.

On your knees and THANK your chosen religious entity. I mean now**!

*Ie. They’re flying back to their Australian and American homes. *sob* I’m not sure why I’m upset: because I’m pleased they’re going to their homes where they’ll find happiness, success and cute guys who speak the same language and have similar cultural identities or because they’re going to leave a hole behind them in Prague – where their senses of humour are going to be sorely missed or whether it’s because they have a home and I don’t.
** curious to see whether I’d get me more dates if, including the new nickname, I become an ultra flexible spy who is a dominatrix in her spare time.
posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, December 06, 2006   2 comments
Friday, 1 December 2006
Once upon a time, there was a girl named N, who attended Biochemistry 201 in Palmerston North, New Zealand. While at the bench (3hr lab sessions, what a joy THEY were), she noticed another girl (willowy, pale and interesting, dark hair, always wore dark lipstick and dressed FAR better than a student) who hung out postgraduate style (forced by poverty into running tutorials and being a lab assistant).

Though they bumped into each other almost daily, nary a word was uttered betwixt them. They made eye contact in the hallways of the university, but rather than mutual respect and recognition, there was always a hint of malice between them, an air of competitive supremacy. Eventually, N found out her name was F.

They attended the same dance course (6 weeks, once a week, Latin), but since F had a boyfriend and N had to dance with the (stout) female teacher, N was not supreme in this round.

During N’s Masters, her friend A, with whom she’d argued, worked in F’s lab (not her own, she wasn’t a “scientist proper”, but the same one that she worked in). N approached A with an olive branch, and A was initially receptive. Not even a week later, A cancelled their plans for a catch-up coffee, as “talking to others had made her realise how little we have in common”. Suspicions aroused, N hated F all the more.

F disappeared during N’s PhD years at the university (hoorah!), only to reappear on Madison Avenue, photographed by the alumni magazine. Apparently, F had gone off to some American institute to carry out PhD (or was it post-doc, given how much older than N she was?) and was now smiling out at N from the pages of the magazine, reporting on her “all important work in the battle for cancer therapy”. N curled her lip a lot and probably snarled. The magazine was given the status “LOWER THAN PORN” in the household for the next two years.

Finally, N forgot about F and got on with her life. This included moving to Wellington. Once, while shopping in the Oriental Parade New World, she bumped into F in the fruit section. Naturally, N had just come from the gym, was wearing motorcycle gear and looked a sweaty, Michelin-dressed fright. F, of course, was Miss Moneypenny proper, decorous and sexy – still slender, with well cut hair and well tailored separates.

N fumed: how dare F turn up in her city? Why did they have to have the same damned shopping habits? Why couldn’t N have AT LEAST looked as though she was going out that night, instead of going home to sprawl on the couch watching sit-coms and eating junk food (the chocolate sauce was ALSO in the fruit section…).

Friends rallied (though not sure why, as N had said nothing of this to anyone!); “but you’re gorgeous, N”, “you’re vibrant”, “you glow”, “there’s something about you that’s so attractive”, “you’re so intelligent*”, “what the Prague!?”

N finally flew away. She went to the other side of the world - Prague, in fact. I bump into her frequently. A few months ago, having mistakenly stumbled across her blog (yes, she has one too), the editor of the aforementioned magazine wrote to N, to ask whether she’d be willing to conduct an interview.

Flashes of F sprang to mind. Interview? Hell…it’d be the magazine’s most discerning piece of work yet; about the most stupefying, appealing (nay, enthralling) and demure** of all alumni (not to mention, humble), illustrating the astonishing talents of those with the tenacity (idiocy?) to linger at university overly long, glorifying N’s pioneering spirit and unassailable good humour. It would also be accompanied by photos of N: “saving the world” while maintaining great looking highlights (thanks 9!), a full beaming smile, and “come-hither” eyes***.

So yeah, I’m doing an interview. Hopefully F will see the magazine, and spit on it. Eleven years, not a single conversation, approximately 100 meetings-of-the-eyes-in-the-hall and a burning intense desire to best one another.

Er, evolution much? Get to the back of the cave where you belong, bee-yatch!

*okay, so no one has actually ever fawned over me sufficiently to spout this, probably because they know it’s a fallacy, and the only reason I got my PhD was because the university wanted me OUT damnit…OUT!
** it’s the spy thing, I’ve gotta wiggle it in there somehow.
*** Um, would you mind taking a photo of me pointing at a dot on this map, while I scurry under the rotating blades of an army helicopter, whilst carrying a Halliburton briefcase (obviously loaded with the latest gadgetry of an ill-defined nature), biting the lid off a single-use syringe and locating a vein in my arm (you know, vaccinations…en route…), and surrounded by small children who are clearly upset by my departure, but have that slightly feverish (hmm!) look in their eyes as though they’ve stumbled across their saviour. Oh, and can you get Clive Owen in the background too? Clive darling, just look towards me as though you’re going to mourn my momentary departure (for supplies, if you’re a method-actor) and yearn for me to return to your warm, manly arms and sob about the plight of the world’s disappointed on your heroically gorgeous pecs – and if you can somehow get the glint in your eye that suggests I’m unknowingly carrying your child, excellent! Ta muchly, mwah!

posted by Nomes @ Friday, December 01, 2006   0 comments

Name: Nomes
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