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!)
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  
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