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!)
Quiz time!
Thursday, 30 August 2007
Everyone can play this game, I'm fairly sure. Even the lurkers. (warning though: this has turned into a bit of a 'girlpower' post)

Answer me this (either privately, you know my e-mail address or as a comment):

What's the craziest thing you've ever done in a relationship? How old were you at the time? What was the outcome, and did it actually help solve the problem? Did you even know what the problem was? How did it all end?

I'll start (because I have no shame):

The tranny-shagging-ex-fiance had returned from an exercise/mission somewhere. He'd lied to lying to me about numerous things: the fact he was staying with his ex in London while I was in NZ for the millennium (oh - and that she crawled into his bed...etc.), the fact that he'd slept with someone else while we'd been going out, and blah blah blah (you get the idea).

So I took the keys to the car we'd bought maybe a month earlier - the one with the pretty face that we called the Sphinx (cos she looked Siamese). I got in it. I drove up the road. Then put my seatbelt on (as promised, 9!). I drove back down the road, speeding up, and RAMMED it into the concrete post of our gate.

The radiator was the only thing that was damaged (I was fine too), and we had to make up a silly story for the insurance company (fraud is on my list of crimes, treason I've still yet to commit) but the point was made.

Sphinx was repaired. Our relationship sure as hell wasn't. He went off to the jungle again for another tour - during which I REVELLED in my time alone. When he came home, I split us up, realising that I'd rather BE alone, than in a loveless relationship with someone who wasn't good for me.

I was 24.

I've not done anything so ridiculously 'ignorant of the possible consequences' since then.

I'm soooooooooo glad I got out, that I'm not still with him at 30 and sitting (probably in NZ, having done nothing with my life but follow him around) with our (probable) child regretting having spent some of the best years of my life a) miserably and b) with someone like that.

Instead, I've got a PhD (you can STILL call me Dr Nomes - unless you're from Eastern Europe, in which case you can call me Madam Doctor Nomes - they DIG the title thing in this region), friends all around the world (most of whom agree to meet me/put me up without - visible - hesitation...), an ace ex-boyfriend I admire and respect, self-respect, a lover who apparently adores me, ex-flatmates who are more like family, an incredible career and a family who love and support me (even more so now that they know the truth of my life/situations).

I. Is. All. GOOD!

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posted by Nomes @ Thursday, August 30, 2007   2 comments
Quick: get the book!
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Time was when we maintained a 'quote book'. I've no idea who has it now, but there were some pretty damning things written in it - which, when written out of context, were hilarious. That was the point.

I have one to add from this last week. It was all to do with coefficients of correlation, or something equally as innocuous. Everyone has an opinion on these sorts of things.

"I prefer the 'r''s."


posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, August 28, 2007   2 comments
You know you travel too frequently...
Monday, 27 August 2007
...when the thoughts that pop into your head when an Easyjet "you've 3 days before flying, did you know you can checkin online?" message arrives are,

"What? But where am I going? When did I book this ticket? Who am I going with? Is this my flight to the UK already? I thought I still had to sort that out...."

And not, "Oh. I should forward this to the person who's ticket I booked."

P.S. I DID have a video of us dancing to Moloko in the kitchen (disco ball!) last night, singing into a bottle of maple syrup, but, dash it all, it was too dark, and my video editing software too limited to post! What a pity!


posted by Nomes @ Monday, August 27, 2007   0 comments
Very little...
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
...could be considered more annoying than internet dating site messages such as those that contain (i.e. all in one message) the following.

'at least you will have another good friend from abroad.'
ARGH!!!! I don't want another long distance friend - at present I only seem to HAVE long distance friends (admittedly, some of those long distances are from my hotel room to theirs...).

how are you i am'
Nor do I want to date someone who can't understand the basic principles of punctuation. Yes, I DO have the 'apostrophe' discussion on the first date. It's one of my basic selection criteria (apologies to 9's boy).

'I will host you, because you live in a country filled with warm people'?
So, previously he's hosted people who come from Greenland? Or just corpses that've been in the morgue for a while? 'cos that's just a little weird, and frankly, freaks me out.

'See if it works'?
See if what works? E-mail? Hosting me? Honey, I very much doubt it: I make for an awkward houseguest at the best of times...and since you'll be assuming I'm czech, and I'm more kiwi in my hospitality behaviour...then...nah...

'you may say I'm a dreamer'?
But you're not the only one, I hope some daaaayyyy you'll join us... Please leave the Beatles where they belong. In the car: on the radio, when you're feeling any emotion and have a free hand to scroll through the million songs on your iPod for the one that captures it 'just right'. This one is from a 'feeling forlorn' song. Forlorn =/ love.

'believing love makes it real'?
Yes. It sure does. And if it doesn't, stalking helps. Which is why I'm not going to lead you on...

'if the love is big enough, there is no distance'?
Yes. There is. I can assure you. Despite how badly one looks forward to the next time that distance is minimised
(this is the point, in calculus, where the teacher always said something along the lines of 'let's assume that gap is now so small, that it approximates zero...' and I always thought, "WHY!??!?!" and wondered whether we could do that with all other variables and make life so much simpler and get out of class early. We couldn't. I asked.), distance is still, very much, an issue. As are phone bills.

'think about it'.
Done. No.

Gah! Please, Dear universe, send me someone literate, tall, handsome, hawkish, who can dance, who can laugh, who can make me laugh, who can spell, who can use a comma or a semi-colon with wild abandon - yet correctly, who can see skulls, who can spoon, who can give teddy the voice of Jason Stratham, who can cope with a NomiMission, who can make stuff, who can snog like a dream.

Ta muchly.

[late breaker: this, just in: "
i just love a stromg sure of her lady , hi i sent you a message". Yes you did, well done, I wonder if you announce all of your actions. Whichever, don't send me another. That's just stromg-sure-of-her-lady talk for "FUCK OFF!"]


posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, August 21, 2007   0 comments
If your life were a movie, what would the soundrack be?
Thursday, 16 August 2007
So, Here's How It Works:

1. Open your music player
2. Put it on random/shuffle - whatever.
3. Play.
4. For each 'stage of life' put down the song title and artist.
5. Change songs for each new 'stage of life'.
6. Don't lie to try to be cool and skip songs. We know you've got dodgy stuff belonging to your parents on your 'puter.

Opening Credits: Ready, Willing and Able - Doris Day (er, here we go then!)
Waking Up: Intimacy – The Corrs
First Day At School: The Irish Rover – The Pogues (How did they know this early???!)
Falling In Love: Blinky Blue Eyed Sunrise – Mutant (it sounds better than it looks)
Fight Song: Jane Doe – Alicia Keyes (yeah bearch! Get yo hands off ma mayan!)
Breaking Up: Fortunate Son - Credence Clearwater Revival (it ain’t me! Mwahahahahaha!)
Prom: One Day I’ll Fly Away – Nicole Kidman (I was the moody one on the balcony in a big dress)
Sex: Dark and Long – Underworld (I kid you not!!!)
Life: I am the Cosmos – Chris Bell (see? Even the universe agrees with me!)
Mental Breakdown: Murmullo – Buena Vista Social Club (a nice slow descent into madness, clearly!)
Drugs: The Perfect Kiss – New Order (!!!)
Driving: Part Time Lover – Elton John (obviously, top down in a convertible with a mate down a highway!)
Flashback: Champagne Supernova - Oasis (back to the good old long, dark days of the perfect kiss!)
Getting Back Together: All Apologies – Nirvana (oh, great!)
Wedding: Take on Me – Aha (I am SOOOO walking down the aisle to this!)
Honey moon: Use Me – Bill Withers (charming)
Birth of Child: Exhausted – Foo Fighters (a little shocking for the labour suite…)
Partners death: Clocks – Coldplay (does this mean I’ve been waiting for it to happen?)
Final Battle: Dirty Harry’s Revenge – Adam F/Beenie Man & Siamese (it’s a fast fight – involving cars, drugs, guns…possibly a bombed out ship at the docks).
Attempted suicide: Do You Remember – Phil Collins (am starting to feel slightly embarrassed now).
Death Scene: Fourth Rendezvous – Jean Michel Jarre (‘cos, y’know, I’ll be back before you know it – or I’ll always be with you, or something. It’s just the tiniest bit upbeat!!)
Funeral: Wasting My Time – Boomkat (quite – let’s all just go home then, huh?)
End Credits: Time of the Season – Big Blue Missile and Scott Weiland


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, August 16, 2007   2 comments
It's a 'meh' day today for one reason or another, so I'm meming it.

P.S. I did this one a while ago...but this time, I've commented.

You Know You Were an Expat Kid in the Middle East When...

1. You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?" (And when you do, you get into an elaborate conversation that gets everyone confused and/or makes you sound very spoiled.)
This one couldn't be more true if it tried. It's the question that makes me groan, since answering it simply (Britain) gets the "surely not?" response due to the crazy accent (which is also often accused of being 'fake' - of course it's damned fake...there's no freaking COUNTRY for it...)

2. You flew before you could walk.
18mo old. Not sure whether I could walk or not...Mamma (oh, and please try not to embarrass me here!)?

3. You have a passport, but no driver's license.
2 passports: no driver's license...

4. You think California is cold.
Anywhere less than 35oC is. Science fakt jo.

5. You watch National Geographic specials and recognize someone.
The photojournalist you met at the Dive Club.

6. You run into someone you know at every airport.
I've only had this happen once (which is a tiny percentage of total airport time) but it freaked me out sufficiently to never-travel-long-haul-without-looking-like-a-member-of-the-human-race again.

7. Conversations with friends take place at 6:00 in the morning or 10:00 at night.
Or 3:00am. I still have unresolved issues with time zones.

8. Your life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times.
By this time, though, I'm monitoring the yawn/agog response carefully, and adapting my tale hencewith.

9. You can speak with authority about the quality of various international airlines.
Qatar Airways has come a LONG way and is really lovely. Gulf - not so much these days. Cathay have the most legroom over Asia, but Singapore has the nicest steward/esse/s. Air France win on food - hands down - but lack on legroom so much as to be not-worth-the-price. Air NZ, Qantas and BA are for sissies who wish to be talked down to.

10. You feel self conscious around all white people.
Well...they might mistake me for a terrorist or something.

11. You get offended when someone turns down an offer for food.
But I love you, so EAT!

12. You live at school and go home for vacation.
Home? Ha ha ha ha

13. You treasure pork and root beer as highly-valued commodities.
Ham! Bacon! Pork scratchings! Ribs! Vomiting after overindulgence!

14. You have ever had to wait for prayer call to be over to finish shopping.
*sigh* A-shed-well-ah...ahh...ahhh....ahhhhhhhhhhh! (going up a few notes towards the end...)

15. You are fascinated by any wildlife bigger than a gecko.
"I can see something moving. It's, it's, a critter..."

16. You know the true meaning of "football." (and in your mind can hear the shout, "GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")

17. You know that it truly is a small world.
Which is why you must never do what it is you want to do outside of the privacy of your own closet. No, really.

18. You have ever gone to the "hammam" or endured a "shamal."
"Skin, lovely skin. My kingdom for my skin."

19. You get all the jokes in Aladdin.
Merchant: Combination hookah and coffee maker, also makes Julienne fries. Will not break!
[taps it on table]
Merchant: Will not!
[it falls apart]
i.e. anything from the souq

20. Rain is still one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
God yes. I heart my skylights.

21. You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
Well, duh! It's not the 'lower' price, it's the 'best' price.

22. Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: hot and warm.
And yet, still manage to keep my shoulders covered...

23. Your school memories include duck-and-cover drills.
And bomb scares spent on fields while the squads searched the schools. *wistful sigh*

24. You are used to being stared at.
What? That ISN'T normal? Kerb crawled too, it takes me ages to respond to a 'do you know where this street is?' question from an innocent driver!

25. You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
Usually squiggled on in an unintelligble language in response to a small helpful bill...

26. You call a chicken burrito a "shwarma."
*sob* If only it were half as good as the ones by TV roundabout...

27. Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the "exotic" things you have around.
"It's a charcoal burner - obviously. Yes, it's gold. That's how it's done. That? Oh, that's a tissue box holder..." [fade to embarrassed silence]

28. You've heard of or tried "hubbly bubbly."
Want a large one. Need everyone to bring own mouthpieces. And honey flavoured tobacco...

29. You've woken up in the middle of the night to watch the Superbowl on cable.
Or the Rugby World Cup final.

30. You have sat in a "men's" or "women's" section in an airport, hospital, or restaurant.
It's just so much decorous that way.

31. You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don't know the geography of your own country. (Isn't Philadelphia its own state?)
Do we HAVE states in Europe?

32. Your best friends are from 5 different countries.
New Zealand, Egypt, England, Palestine and Turkey. Your turn.

33. You're spoiled. You know it. You're VERY spoiled.
Aw shucks. You shouldn't have.

34. You ask your roommate when the houseboy is scheduled to come clean.
Just had this EXACT question on the phone!

35. You have never spent a summer with your friends from high school because you all go back to your home town/state/country June - August
Some of us stayed for the sun, and went home at "seasons greetings" instead...

36. Camping involves duning, getting stuck, and counting how many camels you saw.
Two planks for getting a car out. Possibly a large tarpaulin. And there's never enough water. But the tan you have when you've actually just got sand all over you is very VERY smooth.

37. A sports tournament involves flying to another country in the Middle East.
Doha College vs. Dubai College. *sigh* Memories.

38. You remember when the first McDonalds in your country had its grand opening.
I'd already left.

39. You got days off school for Christian and Muslim holidays.
Well...'seasonal' days off...

40. You secretely wished the rulers of other Middle Eastern countries would die so that you got days off school.
Or that there'd be a coup.

41. Not being able to eat in public during the day during the holy month of Ramadan.
Or smoke. Or drink. Unless you buried your head between your legs in the footwell of the Dodge...

42. Traveling to the states required buying candy, CDs, and Abercrombie and Fitch clothing for your friends back overseas.
Or chocolate other than galaxy. We didn't even have Cadbury's, people!!

43. You are used to giving directions according to landmarks, not street names.
"Ramada Hotel, C-ring road, yassar Mumtazah park roundabout, yemeen Al Mansoura, bas khallas, shukran" = Going home.

44. It's normal to wake up and have four or more Pakistani men fixing your AC.
Actually, it's not. They'd say they'd come around and then they wouldn't for three days...

45. You didn't know how to do your own laundry until you left for college.
It's a kinda magic.

46. How come the houses in America don't have servants quarters?
They're very versatile as teenage hangouts.

47. You are used to seeing Arabic commercials dubbed in British English about Lux soap, Carnation condensed milk and Dove shampoo.
Klim. Took me about four years to realise that the powdered milk brand name was milk backwards.

48. Seeing police drive on the shoulder of the road and cut people is not unusual.
How else are they going to stop the racing?

49. You understand that being addressed as "ma'am/sir" by Filipinos is not an insult.
Better than 'oi you!'.

50. You know someone is referring to Pepsi when they say "Bebzi".
We didn't have the Coca-Cola corporation, people.

51. Having a walled in, cement house is standard.
And cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. It just makes sense.

52. Ford Explorer sized cars seem small compared to Toyota Land Cruisers and Nissan Patrols.
Or Dodge Ram Chargers. Hell yeah.

53. One word: 'yala'.
I usually attempt to soften it with Habibi...

54. You have a box of red label tea in your cupboard
Bleee. It never gets better over time. Oddly, the Russian areas drink this a lot too.

55. You have ever had your hair cut in a "saloon"
I wanted it permed. I was shown the error of my ways.

56. You prefer to bring lunch in a metal tin
Stackable, natch.

57. You know that pillsbury makes naan
But that you can't get it here.

58. Any time you submit an application, you attach 500 riyals to "help" it along.
This is the going price for two passport photos, right?

59. You call a taxi a limo, and are confused when it's not a mercedes
With a face like an otter.

60. you roll your eyes everytime you hear a politician/news reporter say "eye-rack"

61. The speed limit is just good advice, not something really to pay attention to.
Otherwise they'd police it.


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, August 16, 2007   2 comments
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
So, my love affair with the social-networking-site-for-the-intellectuals continues unabated, despite the odd message-that-I-didn't-write turning up on people's profiles and walls (note to self: do not leave 'puter unattended).

Today, I've been trawling through old school photos (oh god, the horror of the haircuts!) and having an extremely well-contained giggle (my ribs hurt). It turns out that one girl from a class below me lives in Warsaw. And since I'll be there soon, we're gonna catch up for a pivo(cz)/piwo(pl). I haven't seen her since 1992. Craziness. And there are rumours of a reunion at some point in London: since I haven't been to any of the reunions yet (NY and London - still too expensive from NZ), this could be a right laugh. Is Nomes still the "Voice of the Lower 6th" as her student council campaign stated?!? I'm now the 'cohort 11 representative', so plus ca change...

The facial structure changes are alarming. People who had the cutest faces back then now have jaws that don't match their foreheads - and somehow - larger noses!? The puppy fat has melted from many a cheekbone, revealing a totally different shaped face. Hairstyles are now about flattering than trendiness, and as such, look MUCH better. But don't get me started on the "yeah, I've had 3 kids, won a nobel prize, written a book and was on the last mission to the moon." statements. One of my friends was a model. Another an international motorcyclist! No longer do I feel modest (ha ha ha) with the claim "I'm saving the world!" damnit. Someone's gotta blow this trumpet.

It's pretty good for the ego, though. I've now got something in the region of 137 friends (so guess who's feeling popular today - check the wheel) and one of the it's-such-a-shame-you-didn't-stay-as-cute-as-you-were answered my British "you look well" with "me? you look FINE!".


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posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, August 14, 2007   1 comments
Coming, ready or not!
Monday, 13 August 2007
Actually, having just typed that heading, I realise what a load of innuendo could be read into it. Alas, my dears, no sexploits on THIS'll have to head over to one of the ones on my blogroll for a more raunchy read (this is a family show!).

What I'M referring to is London. Yes, I can finally announce it (having spent the last goodness knows how long alluding to it). I'm moving there. I got the job that Lisa and I applied for (after she turned it down - oh the wounded pride! (not, I couldn't care less if I was choice #2, I'm going to be working in my native environment at long last)) and the contract was "signed, sealed, delivered", I'm theeeeeiiiirs.

Of course, things are gonna change a little bit round here *gruffly*. For a start, there'll be no more prancing about on jolly japes to Serbia/Azerbaijan/Wherever-else for a while. Instead, my destinations are more likely to be swimming holes in outer Durham. Or perhaps farms somewhere in Somerset.

Can you smell my excitement?

I'll be working for the 'waterborne gastro' group: i.e. Giardia and Cryptosporidium are going to become my new best friends. I know v little about either of these wee beasties (not so wee, they're protozoa, not bacteria/viruses/prions) so there'll be a whole hell of a lot of reading to do betwixt hence and thence (*shakes head in dismay and promises to edit that one out*) but it's roughly the same field as my PhD (albeit, fewer chickens - hoorah!). My boss apparently dashes off to the more exciting (or: vomity) norovirus outbreaks - but mentioned that I'd eventually lead outbreak investigations (national) after spending some time 'assisting' on them at first.

This is a GOOD thing, peeps (I apologise, I watched "the white rap show" last night on MTV. It was horrendous, yet completely compelling - like a H2SO4 spill) - I like the disease outbreaks - I get to wear Tivek (and we all know there's nothing hotter than a hooded tivek suit, whose zippered crotch lingers by your knees, shoved into gumboots three sizes larger than your feet - don't we?), what more could I possibly ask for?

Reasonably priced/sized accommodation in Zone 2, you say? Yeah, right.

So now, as well as spending my hours deleting duplicates from my recently doubled music collection (we loves ya, D), and carrying out multivariate analysis on The Smallest Dataset in History - I'm also swept up in the internet search for flatmates who may want to take on a 3rd/4th (none of this living with one other person, thanks, it's too cozy, too soon - I'm an intimacy-phobe, after all) without having met them through any other means than l'internet...*sigh*

Appeal: if you know someone in London who needs a flatmate, and isn't too fussy over their levels of neuroticism, get them in touch with me. Mwah!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the x has left *sob*. It was wonderful having D in Prague for 3 weeks (though a serious detox is MUCH in order) and hanging with him in London briefly too. We sent him off much in the same way as we saw him in (which was when we went straight from an electronica festival in a field - photos soon, my pretties - outside of Prague to the airport - at 6am Saturday morning): we'd been to the Chemical Brothers concert (photos to come), Cross Club, Mecca, Le Clan AND Studio - getting home at 12:30pm (me), 1:30pm (D), and 2:15pm (J) for a 2:30pm booty call to the airport.

Stunned? We were all Norwegian Blues. Then started to pack. Oh yes, already. With my OCD levels, it takes a while to prepare the lists of 'what went into which box'.

Facebook and I are undergoing a love/hate thing at the moment. I love the fact that so many people from Doha College are on there - and that they remember me sufficiently to 'add me as a friend'. The only cause for concern is when I come across someone I didn't really ever like (for one hitherto forgotten teenaged reason or another) in the past: am I obliged to add them? Will they notice that I haven't? And what do I then do if they decide to add me? Assume that their petty issues that irritated me at 15 have dissipated with their puppy fat? *sigh* The world's SUCH a difficult place.

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posted by Nomes @ Monday, August 13, 2007   2 comments
A different sort of interrogation
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
1. You and Jesus go out to dinner - who pays?
Given I would have spent the entire dinner ordering water and asking him to, ‘y’know, do yo thang’, I’m sure he’d have climbed out of the window. But I’d know the answer to the question “if you start with bubbly water, will you end up with champers?” – not to mention a bill for 5 glasses of water.

2. You suddenly have to flee the country and adopt a new name…what would it be?
I am ALWAYS fleeing the country, and undergoing name changes. I can’t think what the next one will be, but perhaps Morgana Llewellyn. I shall also be growing my hair long and wearing flowing gowns – and living amongst a pagan settlement in Wales, possibly making spells.

3. Pick one state in the U.S. to get rid of permanently?
Er? Rid of? Like Atlantis? Or just abandon from the U bit of the US name? I don’t know, what a ridiculous question.

4. You wake up as the opposite gender. What's the one thing you wanna do?
Walk down the street, and take a pee against someone else’s wall, just because, y’know, the urge hit me suddenly, and I no longer have to wait.

5. Luke Skywalker or Han Solo?
Duh! Han Solo. Skywalker is WAY too whiny.

6. Toy you always wanted but never got as a child?
Horse (okay, not sure it counts as a ‘toy’ per se, but My Little Pony was also on the list).

7. What was the worst thing you ever ate?
Liver. Also: kidney. Blee.

8.The last time you laughed until your stomach hurt?
Tuesday, most likely. Hanging with the person who makes me laugh the most.

9. What is the last movie you saw that actually scared you?
The Ring.

10. Stupidest thing you've ever said out loud?
I’m one of those people who start sentences and don’t finish them. A lot. Usually because I realise it’s going to come out all stupid.

11. You're sentenced to death and its the morning of your execution: what do you want to eat?
What a lovely thought. It depends on the time of my impending death. I mean, either I’m having ‘breakfast’ or I’m having my ‘last meal’, so there’s a world of difference folks. I bet Mum would be chuffed to know I’d like her slaving over a hot stove on my penultimate evening, but a slice of her filet de boef en croute (avec les champignons s’il te plait!) with roast veges would go down a treat. Followed, possibly, by a cheese plate. On the other hand, if I’m particularly nervous, I might limit it to a piece of Viv’s cheesecake, or go really ‘supermarket’ and get some Philadelphia on digestives into me. Mmmmm. Philadelphia. (“Oh my God!! I’ll be able to buy cream cheese!!!”)

12. What's something that most people do that you've never done?
Get married. Have a baby. Divorce. (note: ‘most’ in this case is defined by >50% females aged 30 in western society)

13. Before you die you want to go to...?
Africa. Deepest darkest, want-to-climb-Mt-Kilimanjaro-before-I-die Africa.

14. What's the last thing you ate?
A refresher.

15. A wild animal you'd like to have as a pet?
A leopard. Or an otter.

16. A drug you'll never try?
Heroin. (Dad must be so proud that there’s a line drawn!)

17. If you were an animal, what would you be?
Er, leopard. *sigh*

18. If you had to marry someone you knew at the age of 12, who would it have been?
12? Where was I? Oh yeah: Doha. Amr. We’re still friends now, that’s gotta count for something right?

19. What's something a lot of people don't know about you?
I want everyone to like me. (okay, so maybe a lot of people already know that, but do they know that I know that I know it?)

20. First celebrity crush?
Pierce Brosnan. Big thanks to Mamma, who let me stay up and watch Remington Steele. *swoon*

21. What's a weapon to suit your personality, habits and abilities?
Bow and arrow. Stand at a distance, aim, fire. Precision shots. Walk away unscathed.

22. Best flavor of runts?
Aren’t they like nerds? 9, help a girl out here…

23. Favorite breakfast bread style (pancakes, waffles, toast etc...).
Eggs Montreal (poached on a split, toasted English muffin that’s been slathered with Philadelphia (again) and smothered with smoked salmon, before being liberally doused with grapefruit hollandaise. Oh, and with a dollop of sun-dried tomato pesto on the egg too.)

24. Favorite movie?
The Crow/Blues Brothes/Reservoir Dogs/The Goonies/Star Wars/Ice Age/The Holiday – I’m a movie whore…I like nearly everything I see.

25. Worst way to die?
Lonely. (lonelily?)

26. Grossest injury you've ever seen?
A friend of mine rode his bike into a pile of bricks at the bottom of our garden and was extricated from them complete (!?) with a compound fracture of his tibia. Purdy. That and my brother lying still in a spreading pool of blood against the steel beams (also at the bottom of our garden – I swear, it was deadly down there) with one tooth jammed up into his soft palette and the other one knocked out – having raced ME to the bike shed (and lost, obviously)…that was pretty horrible.

27. The worst injury you've ever had?
ACL rupture due to a sweep failing miserably (well, other than that it did take me down – and out – quite successfully) whilst sparring at my brown belt grading.

28. Favorite thing about Thanksgiving?
We don’t do that. But I’m sure I’d really like pumpkin pie.

29. Sport you hate the most?
Snooker. Or darts. I mean, really. Those are ‘games’ not ‘sports’.

30. What state in the US do you want to visit?
New York.

31. What's something you think would be sweet to know everything about?
How the brain works.

32. Favorite Actor/Actress?
For what? Acting? Or just to drool over? Not answering this one.

33. What's one phrase you absolutely detest?
”Show us yer tits.”, I mean, really – can you not come up with anything more original?

34. What makes an awesome party?
Great people, environment, accompaniment and entertainment.

35. What's your favorite material possession?
It’s really a collection of four items: the beaded whiskey bottle originally given to my Grandma, the peacock feather fan given to me by Mamma, the Rangitoto island picture given to me by David and the Moroccan lamp I hauled back from Fez.

36. What's something that most consider an insult but you enjoy having said about you?
”You’re too much.” Yes, I am. Now deal with it, or get the out of my way.

37. Favorite kind of dog(s)?
Weimeranas, Greyhounds, and Dobermans (men?) – short fur, nice temperaments, no jowls. Ooh…just how I like my men.

38. Favorite carnival food?
Battered 5th grade meat products on a stick, dipped in Whitlocks tomato sauce. I heart manfield.

39. Morning or night person?
Towit – towooo…

40. What's the worst part about taking the bus?
The smell of wet laundry when it’s been raining and the bus is warm. That and not being able to see your stop out of the window when it’s steamed up. Or is that: what’s the worst part about the rain?!

41. Weirdest Ebay purchase?
Dice. Don’t ask.

42. Who's your man/woman crush?
Clive Owen, Wentworth Miller or Ioan Gruffudd (his name will go so well with my secret new identity, no?)

43. Its Saturday at 3am.?
And I’m dancing with mates, holding a vodka, lime and soda in one hand.

44. Who's your favorite friend to go out with?
Well, Lira – except she’s on the other side of the world. So, J1 or J2 fit the bill. Pretty much for everything – except shopping. I’m a solitary shopper.

45. Worst job you've ever had?
I liked all my jobs. Sort of.

46. What's something your friends make fun of you for?
Me thinking I’m shy. I am, damnit.

47. Favorite cereal?
Oats. Puffed/rolled/toasted: I like me them oats.

48. Book you could read repeatedly?
RepEATedly? So not just twice? Sheesh: The Book of Questions then. Cos it’s not really a ‘read’ as such – but it IS a page turner (I should get into copywriting shouldn’t I?).

49. What's the meanest thing you've ever done?
Lived well. Oh yes, THAT revenge is the sweetest.

50. If you were drafted into a war, would you survive?
Given I’d be in the ‘intel’ section, it’s possible I wouldn’t. I mean: have you any idea how hostile those Welsh sheep really are when they find out you’re a spy?

Note: tales from London to follow.


posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, August 08, 2007   2 comments

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