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, 30 March 2007
I just looked at the photos of a wedding that I should've gone to. It happened in New Zealand. I was in London. *sigh* But the photos made me think that a veil and a white dress are enough to make even the most awe-inspiring woman look vulnerable. Or, is that the point?

It's the weekend. The weather is, bizarrely, improving as the Friday afternoon dwindles. I'm still on someone else's computer, and my work output this week has been, effectively, nil. I feel bad about that...

...but I've a racing under my skin that the weekend is nearly here and that it'll be good weather.

Note: this is a bit of a 'filler' blog entry to get me back into the spirit of things. I either have a lot to say and can't say it here (ooooooh) or there's been nothing happening in my life lately. Stay tuned...


posted by Nomes @ Friday, March 30, 2007   1 comments
A la-la-la-la-long long le long long long....
Thursday, 29 March 2007
I've just been sneakily hiding for the last wee while, since there are no longer SOS buttons in my shower cubicle (must be mandatory in hotels in Serbia...) to make me feel secure in my random morning thinking to the tune of 'Another Suitcase in Another Hall'.

But this made me laugh this morning, read where I get all of my news-of-the-world-today; online: "People addicted to opioids, such as certain prescription painkillers and heroin can be [edit] treated in their [cut] doctor's office, rather than in a special clinic".

But the idea of Mrs Lambert who had a hip replacement last week but is able to keep knitting pink booties for her ever-growing league of grandchildren going in to the same doctors office as a sweaty, slightly yellow dude with borderline rickets and hollowed cheekbones below recessed eyes just seemed amusing to me this morning.

It's Prague. It's a sick, sick, depraved place. And right now, I can't imagine being anywhere else.

Oh, and in the 'most unfortunately named' persons this morning: "These recommendations [countries with high rates of heterosexual HIV should improve access to circumcision due to it almost halving men's vulnerability to the virus] represent a significant step forward in HIV prevention," said Kevin de Cock, the WHO's director for HIV/AIDS programs. Surely, SURELY not. Poor guy.


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, March 29, 2007   0 comments
Another one bites the dust
Wednesday, 21 March 2007
The total tally for the time in Serbia:

3 toothbrushes, one electric, one battery-powered, one manual (eventually)
1 hairdryer (it said it was a travel dryer, clearly not up to MY exacting standards)
1 Acer laptop (RIP)

Everything on the laptop that was important (except a few lights photos from Belgrade) was backed up on a separate hard drive. Either that or it was here for my DLR's to enjoy.

So, it worries me not at all. Weird huh?

And what's it like being back? Let's not discuss that just yet, 'k?

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posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, March 21, 2007   4 comments
Busmans holiday
Friday, 9 March 2007
Note to self: next time I go on a mission, despite the interesting reading material available to me, take some escapism!! Don't get me wrong, it's a great book, and I'm enjoying it, BUT the last thing I REALLY want to read at night before lights out is MORE epidemiology conducted in difficult circumstances.

The pros are that it's not SOOO compelling that I stay up until 4am reading it each night.

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posted by Nomes @ Friday, March 09, 2007   1 comments
International Womans Day, 2007!
Thursday, 8 March 2007
I MUST make sure I'm on a mission this time each year. It means I get flowers again.

Catchphrase of the day: It's great, to menstruate.

This time last year: I was in an ex-KGB flat in Baku, Azerbaijan; with Andreas. We couldn't get the water to work. And we'd just found out there were human deaths of a disease that could have been (and was) Avian Influenza. I posted on the blog at about this time too!

This year: I'm having trans-european teleconferences across my double bed in a hotel room, arguing to not undertake research as an academic exercise, conducted merely for the sake of being seen to carry out a study; since that goes against my fundamental scientific ethics.

What the hell happened there??


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, March 08, 2007   1 comments
Notes on here
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
It’s impossible to really appreciate the true art of wood panelling, until you’ve been in a meeting in a room with wood panelling ceilings, walls and floor boards, at a wooden table, sitting on wooden chairs. For a moment, I wondered whether I was supposed to start eating my way out like a termite, or perhaps swaying in the breeze like a displaced leaf.

During the course of the last week and a half (10 days, people) I have lost not one, not two, but THREE (!!!) toothbrushes.

One fell onto the airside tarmac somewhere on my multiple-legged journey here. Another was left behind when I left one hotel, and the other was pinched by a mate. Grrr…

How a girl is supposed to save the world with furry teeth is beyond me.

Serbia has a fetish for peanut butter. In amongst all the meat and cheese I’ve been eating (liver cleanse, schmiver cleanse *sob*), I’ve had to sample the local goodies. They have biscuits called ‘plasma’ (NINE!!!) (they taset much like malt biscuits) and a pretzel stick is not a pretzel stick without a thin tube of PB running through it. I also tried the local foil-wrapped baked/fried potato offering and ate half of the packet with a scowl of “what the hell is this flavour…” before it dawned upon me.

Ahhh…crisps on toast for breakfast, how I do love thee.

Oh, and while I’ve come to the conclusion that kids should run the UN (why not? Give me one GOOD reason…), I’ve also learnt something about myself. Kids with snotty noses of ANY race/creed/colour/age FREAK ME THE HELL OUT. Today, I stood in a doorway of a dwelling with a small child running around my knees totally and utterly wide-eyed with the fear that she’d wipe her upper lip and then grab my leg with the same hand. Ewwwwww.

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posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, March 07, 2007   3 comments
Better late than never: IN 2006
Friday, 2 March 2007

Best in-country friend: Kat
Best friend forever: Liorah
Lost any friends: No, all present and correct at last roll call.

Went out of the country: Yes
Moved: No
How many times on an airplane: Are you serious? Okay hang on (destinations only: Prague, Berlin, Copenhagen, Baku, Prague, London, Prague, Frankfurt, Baku, Frankfurt, Madrid, Prague, London, Barcelona, London, Prague, Venice, Prague, London, Amsterdam, Tallin, Prague, Zurich, Geneva, Prague, Barcelona, Mahon, Barcelona, Prague, Paris, Sao Paulo, Brazilia, Sao Paulo, Paris, Prague, Copenhagen). So that’s…36 planes I was on in 2006. Even I have to admit that’s disgusting.

Did you change: Yes. I’ve grown less enthusiastic.
New look: None whatsoever. I’m still wearing all the clothes I wore to work in NZ.
Most depressed time in 2006: Um, the bit in the middle, specifically related to work. And failed romances. They suck.
Best time in 2006: New Years with the crew, Azerbai-bloody-jan baby!, the holiday with Nis and Nine, meeting and moving in with Adam, hanging with J in the summer, having loads of visitors, having the crew for Christmas in Prague, being with the EPIET gang and sharing this New Years with them.

Did you get heartbroken: Not as such. Heart SORE, yes. Heartbroken? Nah.
Who was your summer love: I guess that would be the Dutchman. I guess.

Favorite Season: Autumn
Least favorite season: Winter
Good birthday? The scenery was great.

Got arrested: No
Had a crush: Yes
Lost a family member: No
Got bad grades: No
Got a Myspace: No (I had one before)
Kept a secret: Yes
Told a secret: No
Done something you totally regret: Nah, I stand by all of my actions. Which is good, because then I’m right there to pick up the pieces…

In 2006 I...
[ ] broke a promise
[ ] made a new best friend
[x] fallen out of love
[ ] lied
[ ] went behind your parents back
[ ] cried over a broken heart
[ ] disappointed someone close
[ ] hid a secret
[x] pretended to be happy
[x] kissed in the rain (oh yeah, so I did. Huh.)
[ ] slept under the stars
[ ] kept your new years resolution
[x] forgot your new years resolution
[x] met someone who changed your life
[x] met one of your idols
[ ] changed your outlook on life
[x] sat home all day doing nothing
[x] pretended to be sick
[x] left the country
[ ]almost died
[ ] given up something important to you
[x] lost something expensive
[x] learned something new about yourself
[x] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
[ ] made a change in your life
[x] found out who your true friends were
[x] met great people
[x] stayed up 'til sunrise
[x] pigged out over the summer
[x] cried over the silliest thing
[x] was never home on weekends
[ ] got into a car accident
[x] had friends who were drifting away from you (or me them)
[x] had someone close to me die
[x] had a high cell phone bill
[ ] wasted most of my money on food
[ ] had a fist fight
[ ] went to the beach
[ ] saw a celebrity
[x] got sick
[x] liked more than 5 people at the same time
[x] became closer to a lot of people

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posted by Nomes @ Friday, March 02, 2007   1 comments

Name: Nomes
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