Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bye bye Clover

I haven't had a new computer in years. Actually since my old desk top from when we got married and got our own place 5 years ago. Up till the point when we moved in with my in laws, the Old Boxer was still chugging a long fine. I liked my ergonomic key board and relatively large screen. But now that we're in closer and tighter quarters, I no longer have the luxury of space for that ol' Boxer. So, Packrat generously let me have Clover, his laptop while he went on to greater things, by greater I mean a super powered game machine with a screen larger than most tvs I know.

The problem is Packrat used the laptop more than I used Ol' Boxer so it's on it's last legs, flashing angry uncooperative messages at me. The last straw was when it stubbornly refused to fire up Firefox for me. No amount of cajoling, coaxing or threatening would convince it to start up.

This led us to start discussing replacement options. Perhaps when Ol' Clover overheard us talking earnestly about replacing her would she realise we were being serious. The choice was between a super-duper Clover redux, outfitted for more than I would ever using it for; I was afterall going to buy that from a boy who also gamed like Packrat did or a pretty Eve like Mac.

So, I haven't figured it out. Of course, one big issue is the money. I don't have any. And another is space. I don't have any either. But I am suffering web withdrawls, so till then, there'll be radio silence.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:02

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

6 valve bypass

I'd never heard of a 6 valve by pass till last night and when I did, a friend at the table asked "how fat was the guy?"

Then I came home and saw this. Krispy Kremes are a little bit passe now. Everyone and their dog has tried them. But I don't think anyone has tried the Krispy Kreme burger though I'm sure if this existed in that time of yore where I was surround by kids who talked nothing about KKs, it would have been what they'd have subsisted on all those years ago in cold cold Calgary.

But from where I'm sitting, it's just a quicker where to die. Don't bother with all the lard and trans fat, just eat a couple of these and you're well on your way.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 06:05

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

12 steps programme

A colleague and I were commiserating about how we haven't shopped in a long while. It led me to think about how long it has been since I've actually shopped. And to my own consternation, it's been years. By shopping, I'm not talking about picking up the odd top but real crazy, full on shopping where the thrill is in the buying whether or not there really was a need for it. I used to SHOP. I queued at the Mango sales and I would shop every weekend, tops, skirts, dresses, bags and shoes. Every weekend. Credit card companies loved me but I hated the bills that arrived every month. I think the Isetan credit card loved me the most because I used it to ring up purchases of half the Mango store during the sales. My penchant for Mango clothes gave rise to Packrat referring to it as my house of worship and to students giving me gifts that mocked my pseudo obsession.

Upon talking to this colleague, I realised with some amount of horror and possibly relief that I no longer went mad at Mango sales if at all I went. And a look at previous blog posts showed that over the years, I had slowly gotten over the obsession. - A lot of it was by being forcibly kept away.

I guess, I'm cured. Somewhat anyway. Like any addiction, it's easy to fall off the wagon, or is it to get on the wagon. Anyway, I'm sure the 12 steps would keep me from straying too far.

1. I have to admit that I am powerless of the urge to shop, whether it be Mango or Gap or else where—that my life will become unmanageable if I start.
2. I have to realise and be convinced that a Power greater than myself has to restore me to sanity- the fear of the fat credit card bill at the end of the month.
3. Make a decision to turn my will to shop or not to shop and my life to the care of Packrat or any other rational person who will understands my need to shop and the danger it poses to me.
4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of all the clothes that I have bought that I don't use and had bought out on a whim and prove to myself that I don't need more.
5. Admit to Packrat that spending $400 on a three quarter length cream winter jacket was compulsive and stupid especially since it is still hanging in its virgin state in my increasingly cluttered wardrobe.
6. Be accepting of how life can go on even if excessive shopping be removed from my list of hobbies.
7. Humbly admit that it would be better for all and sundry that I didn't buy 4 of the same tops in different colours.
8. Make a list of things I could have used the money for, including traveling or more recently diapers for my children.
9. Make direct amends to my children for taking up their precious wardrobe space because mine has spilt over and promise to allocate them more space when I clear out all the stuff I no longer wear.
10. Continue to keep clearing out clothes that I don't wear or fit into especially with how the post baby me has a different body from the pre-baby me.
11. Sought through support of others, including my exasperated helper who has to find creative means of fitting all my clothes into the limited cupboard space, not to use retail as a means of therapy however alluring it is, especially when life goes awry.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps and get to this point where I no longer can find the changing rooms blindfolded and shopping becomes a once in a while treat where I allow myself to buy one thing and only if I threw out 2 things to make space for that one thing.

So, remarkably I've pretty much gone through the 12 steps unknowingly and without all that much pain and angst. I guess it has helped that, like Packrat says, my priorities have changed and whether or not I want to admit it, I am less frivolous than I used to be although some days I hanker for some of that frivolity. It's hard to though, when the voice of reason is so loud and there are so many obstacles preventing me from spending the entire day trawling the stores.

I'm not complaining. I'm just marvelling wryly how my life and by extension, I, AM different. But now, I do want to shop. Now to find my "sponsor" to stop me from returning to ways of bad.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 06:45

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rules don't apply

I was looking forward to watching the Olympics for many reasons. One of it was the rather malicious and spiteful reason of wanting to see how badly Beijing would screw up. As much as the rest of the world is pro- Beijing, I am pretty much against everything the Chinese stand for. Call me racist against my own kind. Maybe it's me taking anti-hype to a new level. Whatever. I make no apologies for it. Another reason I looked forward to it was more in line with the whole Olympic spirit thing. I wanted to watch the swimming, the gymnastics and of course the Track and Field.

Even though it's been a good 12 years since I've run competitively, it's times like that that I know that running and all things about it are in my blood. And even though I am tiny plankton fry compared to these athletes, I can sense how they feel. The excitement, the anxiety, the frustration at false starts and I'm able to appreciate how even though 100m is a short race to run, it can take the wind out of you.

But watching the 100m finals and watching Usain Bolt win the 100m and break the record, all conventional wisdom of racing was thrown out the window. As a young student athlete, it was relentlessly hammered into our consciousness that under no circumstance were we to actually look to our sides as we raced down the track. It was distracting and it was likely to cause you to lose your race. As a young athlete, we were strung out to dry if we even thought of throwing in the race before the finish line. You powered through, you lunged forward even if it meant tumbling forward, we joked about wearing padded bras so that it'd be easier for you to breast the tape and you never never slowed before that even if the fumes you were running on had evaporated.

Watch Bolt's 100m and none of those rules applied. It left the uninitiated overawed at his ability and us who had some inkling of how a race like that was supposed to be run dumbfounded. Everything our Nazi coaches threatened would make us lose our races, Bolt did it and not only that, he did it in style and still managed to win. Not only managed to win but win in record breaking time. Not just break the world record but make a mockery of everyone else's efforts by slowing down three quarters through the race and clowning around while still being able to maintain a 2 m lead over everyone else in a 100 m sprint where people lose races by half a shoe size.

It makes the mind boggled and the eyes bug but it sure was good Saturday night tv and I sure miss being on the track now.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 06:20

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weepy virus

Being home sick with a viral bug means I get to watch the Olympics while quarantining myself from the kids.

Something is definitely up when the Australian national anthem plays for Leisel Jones and I feel weepy just hearing it. And I never feel weepy hearing the Majulah Singapura.

Perhaps I'm more Aussie than I let on. Shudder.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:44

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

No immunity

Every time I feel jaded and burnt out and feel like it's time I left the profession not because I hate it but have become indifferent to it, something happens.

When I think there's nothing in me that bothers any more and it's just a pay check, I'm reminded of why people refer to it as a calling and a vocation.

When I think unleashing my fury on them will be cathartic for me but it breaks my heart because I actually do care and want the best for them.

When I tear them a new one, not because I'm taking it out on them but because I am near tears and panic at their state of affairs.

Days like these, I know that despite everything that is going on in my head, I was born to teach.

Unfortunately, this heartache is really something I don't need now. It's nice to know I haven't really wasted the last five years of my life in a profession that was supposedly something I fell into, but at this point in time, when I am already so emotionally and physically sapped, this takes from me what I don't have, from the last vestiges of fumes that I have been running on.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:23

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" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"