Friday, September 23, 2005

Off again

So in the morning I'm off to Colombia again. Just for a week this time, but there'll be lots of work to get done.

I mostly packed last night, and made sure I knew where my passport is (oh! better print off the e-ticket!) because tonight I'm planning on being rather wasted - in half an hour (at 4pm) it's my boss's farewell drinks (he's off to live in the Phillipines) and then later on tonight La Parisienne is having her farewell party. The theme for the latter is, for some reason "how hipster can you be?". I've decided my response to that is "not very".


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Seven things

I got tagged seven times by the Editter.

Seven things that scare me
1. Running out of breath underwater
2. Failure
3. People on power trips
4. Motorcycle accidents
5. Being completely lost
6. Mullets
7. Birds (those beady eyes...)

Seven things I like the most
1. Good company
2. Good conversation
3. Travelling
4. Being right
5. Chocolate
6. A good story
7. Sleep

Seven important things in my room
1. Bed
2. Various sarongs and wall hangings over windows and door to keep the dark in at night
3. Musical instruments
4. Books
5. Laptop
6. Suitcase
7. Chaos

Seven random facts about me
1. I have visited as many countries as my age
2. I once broke my ankle after a Circle Line pub crawl in London
3. My Myers Briggs personality type is ENTP (borderline E/I)
4. As the youngest of four girls I went through four (4) purple vinyl pinafores (i.e., hand me downs)
5. I learned to ski in Alaska
6. If I had been a boy my name would probably have been Steven
7. I have three tattoos

Seven things I plan to do before I die
1. Visit Cuba, Tibet, Africa and everywhere else I haven't been yet
2. Do a parachute jump
3. Be a published fiction author
4. Dive Great Barrier Reef
5. Own a house
6. Be an advisor (supervisor) on a PhD thesis
7. Celebrate my 90th birthday

Seven things I can do
1. Board-break both punching and kicking
2. Sight read music
3. Speak six languages (but not all the same ones as the Editter)
4. Touch the tip of my nose with my tongue
5. Make people laugh (even if sometimes it's at me)
6. Find silver linings
7. Enjoy my own company

Seven things I can't or won't do
1. Eat bananas
2. Sleep in a top bunk bed
3. Colour inside the lines
4. Handstand (since breaking my thumb)
5. Wear pink
6. Talk slowly (I try!)
7. Grow my fingernails long

Seven things I say the most
1. Bloody hell
2. Wha?
3. Ay que lindo
4. Coffeeeeee...
5. Anyway, as I was saying...
6. Yeah I'll have another drink, thanks
7. Salud!

Seven celeb crushes
1. Gael Garcia Bernal
2. Johnny Depp
3. Jake Gyllenhaal
4. Heath Ledger
5. Guy Pearce
6. Philip Schofield (when I was, like, 12)
7. Wil Anderson

Gosh, that was really hard and time consuming. Violet, have you been tagged for this yet? Only if you have time...


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Just pathetic

So I've been living in this fair land the US for over a year now, just outside one of the bigger cities, and how many live concerts have I been to? I think just the two Stern Grove ones (Lucinda Williams and Ladysmith Black Mambazo). It's pathetic!

My excuse is that in most places I've ever lived, if somebody in any way interesting is coming to town, you hear about it. Here this is just so damn much happening all the time.

If I were anywhere else, I would have traveled far and paid much to see some of these bands - for example, The Pixies, Gomez (at the Fillmore no less - it's legendary and I haven't even been there), Lenny Kravitz, The Cat Empire, Billy Corgan, Aterciopelados (I can't believe I missed them!), Violent Femmes, Tall Dwarfs, Bebel Gilberto, Kelly Clarkson (just kidding!), to name a few that I happened to spot just scrolling through the SFStation music guide. This is depressing.

But! There is hope. In the next 6 weeks before I leave there is plenty happening and I can try and make up for my general crapness in managing to see live music. For a start Franz Ferdinand are playing soon - while the Gay Maitre D' is visiting no less. Or there's the Killers, Modest Mouse, Tracy Chapman,... Surely I can manage to get off my arse and go and see one of those!

And failing that, at least soon I'll be living in a place where no decent bands ever play, so I won't have to feel guilty about not going and seeing any of them.


Monday, September 12, 2005

The Gods of transportation are angry with me

So I went to Tahoe last weekend. It was beautiful. We had a fantastic time. We swam in Lake Tahoe and in the Truckee River, drove around the lake, hiked down to Vikingsholm, watched fireworks at South Lake Tahoe, had a dip in a friend's hot tub, went up the Heavenly gondola. The trip itself was incredibly hot and very slow - Labor weekend traffic, plus a couple of accidents causing traffic jams.

Result: Car overheats. Gasket blows. Car that I was hoping to sell for around $2700 in a couple of weeks is now virtually undrivable.

We got back to Berkeley OK (with many stops), but by the next day I couldn't drive more than a mile without the car overheating. My mechanic said he wouldn't even be able to work on it for a couple of weeks, and then it could cost anything from $700 to well over a grand to fix. Possibly more if the cylinder head is cracked.

So I advertised it on Craigslist and the good news it I sold it for $100 over my asking price - got $1300, which may be a bargain for the guy who bought it if it's just the gasket that needs replacing. I was getting offers as low as $400, so I think I did OK.

But now I don't have a car and I still have 7 weeks before I leave the country.

And my bicycle got a flat tyre.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rosie Cheeks

Went to Cape Cod a couple of weeks ago for five days. I flew on the red eye to NYC via Atlanta. My friend Rosie (she told me she decided ages ago that if she ever needed a nom de plume it would be Rosie Cheeks, so there you go) picked me up at the airport and we drove up to the Cape.

Rosie is one of my oldest friends - I met her 16 (gasp!) years ago at high school in the Dominican Republic. I was the exchange student, she was one of the few English speakers in the class (having grown up in both DR and the US). We're actually quite different in most respects - culturally, politically, socially, economically, ethnically - which means that some of our discussions can get quite heated, but I do love her dearly. Besides, I could never be nasty about her because she has too much dirt on me.

Some random memories of Rosie:

1. 1989. Santiago, Dom Rep. She fancies this guy at our school so she gets me to tell him that my friends back in New Zealand don't believe me that there are cute guys in Dom Rep, so I have to take a photo of him as proof. Which she then keeps, of course.

2. 1991. New York. We buy the only tickets we can afford to Phantom of the Opera, which means that we're standing right up the back (in our nice dresses and sneakers) and can't even see the chandelier - or half the stage for that matter. Oh well. We were being cultural, nonetheless.

3. 1995. Wellington, NZ. We have a cocktail party in the house I'm living in and Rosie decides to seduce my flatmate, the Gay Hairdresser. Unfortunately for her, he was, and remains to this day, gay. Except he's no longer a hairdresser. Now he's a Gay Maitre D'.

4. 1998. New Orleans (hugs to the Big Easy) (ok so they probably need a little more than hugs right now). Two words: Mardi Gras. One more word: Beads.

5. 2001. Coromandel Peninsula, NZ. I rent the cheapest car I can find which turns out to be a big mistake. For a start, it's a manual, which Rosie can't drive, especially not on the left side of the road. So I have to drive all the way. Secondly, it only has AM radio and no tapedeck even. We learn the words to "Last Train to San Francisco".

6. 2002. Puerto Rico. We manage to lose each other for half an hour in San Juan airport. We go on to have a fantastic over the top casino resort holiday. Thank you Rosie!

7. 2003. Machu Picchu, Peru. Rosie discovers after the first hour on the Inca Trail that she just isn't as tough (= crazy) as the kiwis (consisting of me, the Editter, the Gay Maitre D' and another friend who I'm pretty sure reads this blog but I don't know what to call you - any suggestions?), and hires the cook to porter her backpack. She writes on a postcard home: "Peru is dirty and poor. My next vacation will be at a resort". (There is more I could write, but what happens on the Inca Trail stays on the Inca Trail, right Rosie?)

8. 2005. Cape Cod, Massachussets. Rosie is the Maid of Honor at our friend's wedding. I am the Maid of Honor's Maid of Honor. It is my new calling. Seriously, I was practically the wedding planner - I had the DJ, the caterers etc all coordinating with me. And I got to know everyone because I was handing out the welcome bags as the guests arrived at the reception. Everyone: "Who are you?" Me: "I'm the Maid of Honor's guest. I've met the bride 3 times before!" It was loads of fun and a very nice wedding.

My, we do get around, don't we?

The Cape was beautiful, I managed to go to Provincetown and had a lobster bake and discovered that clam chowder has pig in it so I won't be eating that again (even though it was rather good) and had lobster roll and went to the beach and got burnt (just a little above the neckline of the dress I wore to the wedding, so there was a bright white stripe of cleavage - sexy!) and bonded with a 3-year old.

I very nearly met Fash Mag Slag in NYC. Well, we emailed. But then he never called me and anyway I got back to NYC too late and flew out really early the next morning. I bet I would have humiliated him at Scrabble. That'll be why he "forgot" to call me.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Not enough time to blog

1. Went to Cape Cod. Wonderful.
2. Going to Tahoe for long Labor Day weekend, leaving in half an hour.
3. Trying to get loads of work done.