Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Bubble Bursting

Somedays you think, hey, my life isn't that bad, I can live with it. I'm relatively happy and I have relatively many things to be happy with and excited about. I don't need bigger things to look forward to.

Then, you get a reality check and you realise you're really wasting your time here. Where your abilities and training aren't used to the fullest, either because you're too young, inexperienced or basically, just not at the right place at the right time. And you realise, that's why you need to go away, to go elsewhere, to do something other than what you're doing now. That's why sometimes, you feel restless and other people gripe and are unhappy.

I'm generally not fussy about where I live. As long as there's good food, mild weather, good shopping and friends and family that love me, I'm good. I'm not as vocal and indignant as the more-educated and enlightened overseas Arts grads about media freedom and we live in a nanny state. It doesn't bother me as much. Intellectually, I get it, but I cannot get myself as riled up about it as, say, Dan does because I like most of my life here. I can't see myself staying in Singapore forever, but it's not a BAD place to be in my opinion.

In my most comfortable of times, I question my own need to go away to grad school. But there are always situations like this that shock me out of my complacency and easily contented inertia. I need to be somewhere, doing something I'm passionate about. If research and writing academic papers gets me excited then by jove! (I've been meaning to use that!), I should be doing it or at least given the opportunity to do it.

I know what I'm doing now makes a difference for the kids I'm teaching now. I do get a certain amount of satisfaction doing that. But it's not what gets me going. The nerd/geek in me quietly and steathily grows larger and more assertive everyday. It's more unforgiving to my inertia and gets more easily riled when it realises that it's been passed over for a research or an academic exercise that was right up its alley.

I'm willing to bet most of my peers would have trashed the email and wouldn't have thought twice about it. But for me, it was like one of those phone reminders that beeps incessantly till you pay it the attention it requires.

complacency shaken? - Check.
Inertia and easy contentment rocked? - Check.
A need for action reawakened? - Check.
Reality?- Check.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:07

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A wonderful evening that ended with a colony of rats playing "why did the rat cross the foot path"

Answer? To scare the living daylights out of me. Yup.

It was a great day today. I went present shopping for Dan. He will soon join me in the ranks of being 28. I bought CDs because he had gone out earlier and bought himself a Game Mouse from me. I vacillated for a long while. Sixth Pence Non the Richer, U2- How to dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Best of Ronan Keating, Best of Robbie Williams Best of Westlife (!- Just for the heck of it!), The OC Mix 1,2 and the Christmukkah CD (for my benefit).....Eventually narrowed it down to 6p and Robbie Williams and presented it to him in a package that till a few hours this afternoon held a new set of underwear. Heeeeee......

That was the earlier part of the afternoon. The later part was me running very fast because I had half and hour to run and forgot to take into consideration the time it would take me to walk out to my running route. As a result, we were almost half and hour late for dinner. A dinner that was well worth skipping every other meal in the day for. Well, for Dan. For my fragile constitution, I had to eat. I woke up dizzy because it was past my breakfast time and I hadn't had any cereal or cheese toast (my 2 staple breakfast menus).

Dinner was chicken in filo pastry, cod in some spicy sauce, white bait with kim chi (extremely yummy), duck, cha soba and extremely tender tenderloin. For the more shellfish inclined, there was baby lobster,prawns and crab claws (which I took great joy in extracting meat from even if I was going to eat it... my version of prawn peeling, except I wasn't being submissive but more because I was bored of my non shellfish variety food). According to Dan, the best part of this $42 +++ menu was the herb buttered rice. You can take the Chinaman out of China but not the China out of the Chinaman...well, something like that.

For me, the best part? The desert counter. With trays and trays of pralines and a crunchy chocolate cake with a hazelnut crisp centre. At one point, my entire plate was filled with various varieties of chocolate. Dan's made on the spot birthday cake was made out of various forms of chocs too. I will upload the photo tomorrow when I retrieve camera from car.

It felt like such a nice evening that we were reluctant to actually go home. Almost as if hit by the Cinderella syndrome-not helped by the fact that the Raffles Hotel does look extremely pretty at night. So, we decide to take a work by the river at Empress Place- this is in the day, in the night and standing on the opposite bank much more peaceful and surreal. You end up looking into the CBD with the sense of quiet calm only to realise that inside those buildings that are lit, are probably people who are still working and wishing they were anywhere but. But it was very pretty and breezy and very very unSingapore which was why both of us enjoyed just hanging out there for a while before proceeding over to the Fullerton to see the the cats were still there.

Cats were indeed there. And I decided about an hour later that they were needed near my block of flats. We went to a Club near us to listen to the band. On our way there, I was figuring that coming home would be a problem, not because of dangerous people lurking, but because of dangerous vermin lurking. And I was right. It was really a scene out of the Nutcracker where the Rats were scuttling round as the clock chimed midnight. Coincidentally, it was round about midnight when we tried to cross the rat infested path. Everytime we tried to take a step forward, we ended up taking 3 steps back-akin to progress and development in Soviet Russia but that's another story. The 3 steps back came from the fact that the rats crossed the paths successively. You could make a computer game out of it. Run down the pathway as fast as you can while trying your darndest not to step on any rats. Any rats smooshed would cause a score or life penalty.

The rats won because I decided to take the path less ratty. Even then, I encountered another 2.

Dan asked which I hated more, the rats or the lizards. My conclusion? The rats because they're larger. So much larger that I think the cats in my neighbourhood are fearful of them. Hence my wanting to warp the Fullerton cats over. Plus rats, if they bit you, your arm would hurt for a month from the tetanus shot that would be a total necessity. Lizards, I would just scream my vocal chords hoarse. The harm would be to the larynx but that would be self-inflicted and not vermin inflicted.

Dan says write to the Town Council. I'm not certain if they could do anything. Those rats also reminded me of these rat villains I saw in an old episode of Charmed the other day.

So, I'm off to have nightmares that will be a cross of the King Rat in The Nutcracker Suite and the rat villains from Charmed. Perhaps, throw in Peter Pettigrew as Scabbers to mix it all up a little.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 01:45

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Detox Required

I am in desperate need of a detox. This is going to be a week of eating and the eating or rather than gorging started yesterday. The godparents invited us over for dinner yesterday. Dinner with them is always an adventure, but a known adventure because dinner invitations would go along the lines of "Come over for nasi lemak/steamboat/barbeque/prawn mee..." Yesterday was our first unknown foray. I beeped B and asked what was for dinner. A rather cryptic "come and see for yourself" did not really help.

So, dinner ended up to be stewed/roasted ribs (extremely yummy), some assam (read sour and spicy) pork dish that was yummy with rice, squid stuffed with minced meat soup, kai lan (vegetables) fried with beef (that I mistook for liver), and spicy fried chicken. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it was and having 4 out of 5 dishes meat laden was good for the eating but not so good for the digesting.

Hence the need for urgent de-toxing in the face of more eating. Dan's birthday is this week, so tomorrow, we're off to the Bar and Billiard room for dinner tomorrow night. The following night was meant to be at Brazil Churrascaria but just the thought of more meat is making my tummy feel funny.

Will run later today. Next Sunday's the marathon so must run further and faster and pray my toe nail stays put.

Now, in search of a salad-ish lunch.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:40

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Saturday, November 27, 2004


Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:09

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Music on the Corner

...If you ever need to find the most surreal spot on Orchard Road
...If you are hit by the urge to get married by the road, in front of a big building
...If you ever need to explain to someone what Pachelbel's Canon in D is
...If you ever need to feel like you're in Groundhog Day
...If you ever need to be transported to another dimension, where it's solemn and there's a large pipe organ playing and some clown is walking down the aisle in a big wedding gown when she could just do it in front of a shop...

All you'll need to do is stand on the street between Pacific Towers and Shaw Building. You'll hear That CD shop (unable to find link)... belt it out on a loop.

It's was my most aurally surreal experience today.

On other experiences today, another first. I had water backwash from my bottle right up my nose, down my throat onto the top I was wearing.

And I got hit in the eye because I'd moved the passenger seat back a notch.

I think there's a little evil munchkin following me around, making sure I trip up and get as many inconsequential injuries as poosible.

Laugh all you want...the bump on my head isn't THAT big.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 01:41

1 thoughts...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Things That Go Bump

Something I've discovered this weekend, actually last night. Metal basins are a hazard to have. I was bent over rinsing out some workout clothes and was spatially unaware that the edge of the basin was in my vicinity. When I moved to unbend myself, my forehead collided with the edge of the sink with a major clang. It brought tears to my eyes, not because I felt sorry for the sink or it was a moment of great emotion. It was just downright painful! Mutter mutter mutter

It's still painful and sore but it's the next morning and it doesn't feel so nightmarish anymore. I'm not going to be scarred for life.

I'm waiting to leave for invigilation. It starts at nine and I woke up earlier because I thought I would save myself a buck by driving in early therefore avoiding the need to pay toll. But the problem with that idea was 2 fold.

1. I needed to leave the house by 7.15, which meant waking up at 6.30 which was impossible because my body has realised it really is not term time and it's gone on holiday.

2. Getting in early would be fine if I had something to do in the East. I toyed with the idea of getting Kaya toast for breakfast and sitting quietly and reading with breakfast. But then again, I've had a lot of sugar this weekend and didn't particularly want to add to that with a sinful breakfast.

So, it's 8am and I'm still sitting here. I'll pay the dollar and get in just for the 9 am shift. Meanwhile, I'll potter round the house and look for some food. Not reading the paper yet. That, I'll leave till my hours of solitude as I watch kids struggle through the economic paper today.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 07:52

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Friday, November 19, 2004



Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:21

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Lazy Day

I did nothing today. I intended to run this evening before going to dinner, but I never made it. Let's see. I came home from invigilation and lazed around a whole lot, Dan and I mused about how our lives and relationship have changed through the course of time. As usual, he fell asleep and I wandered out to have lunch and re-read a trashy novel. I can only read trashy stuff when I eat because then I don't have to worry about dirtying them and splattering all over it.

After a lunch of Indo-mee and fish cake-chinese cabbage-meatball soup (Dan has always found that my indo-mee lunches are never as instant as instant noodles should be), Dan woke and had some lunch (fully carbed because he had to do his IPPT thing later in the evening. Incidentally, he passed it! So proud!) and we watched Alias. Let me just say I really hate Lauren and Michael. Hate them. They should be caught by the most evil of villains and have their finger nails and teeth yanked off one by one by that Evil Dentist of Asian Persuasion guy.

And like all good television shows, it makes me sleepy so I dose off with the intention of actually getting up and running, but only getting up with enough time to get dressed and get into town to meet my colleagues for dinner. Dinner was fine except for the fact that I am really not one of those people who doesn't mind splitting the bill by the number of people present regardless of what we ordered. I paid $27 (That was $135 by 5 people) for an iced tea and a salad that would have at most cost me $18 plus tax. Humph. Not amused at all.

I'm home now and I worry that I might have gotten a brain tumour for having been on my mobile phone for 53 minutes. My brother rang just as I was leaving town to come home and when he heard that my means of getting home included me walking through some dark-by-the-canal- paths, he insisted without actually saying so out loud that I be on the phone till I got past my front door. So, 53 minutes. I shudder to think what the phone bill will be like, but I do like talking to my brother. He works strange hours and I don't see him very much so times like that are fun.

I should take off my lenses now, I try not to wear them as much now that I don't really have to do anything important- note that invigilating for a major exam really does not count as important on my list of priorities- and they're drying up. It's late.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:40

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Baby Doll

Originally uploaded by thelanguishingcat.
For those who have no idea what a babydoll top looks like. This is it and this is from the Kate Hudson collection. So, it can't be that bad. :)

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:11

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Baby Doll

I decided sometime back that my fashion sense was a little bit too straight laced. I liked tank tops, t-shirts and solid colours. So, when we went to Vancouver and the US over the summer, I decided to mix it up a little and I bought some baby doll tops with prints on them. Very un-me, but I thought they were nice. Plus, they were kinda loose too, so it was the perfect solution to the feel-fat days of which I had many of, seeing that it was my pet neurosis.

Anyway, today, being hot, I decide to wear one of these tops out. I've been hesitating because I have feared it would make me look like I was pregnant and my neurosis wasn't going to be able to handle that. So, I hesitate, I ask Dan and he assures me that I look cute and that there is no way anyone would mistake me for having a ball under my top since I obviously had a flat tummy.

Unfortunately, not everyone thought the same way as Dan. We had our weekly family dinner over at my brother's. The moment I stepped in, my dad and aunt pounced on me. My dad tried to be a little bit subtle so he asked why I was wearing such a baggy top, which was almost immediately followed with the million dollar question of "Are you pregnant?" illiciting an expectant, eager look on my aunt's face on the other side of me. My mom laughed and my sister in law made a quip about how my butt wasn't large enough for me to be pregnant- the correlation between the two facts befuddle me- following which she laughs so hard, water comes out of her nose.

I've decided that these comfy tops are going into storage for now. I'm going back to my structured, straight laced tops for now. Too much to handle at this time. I'm still coming to terms with all the weight I've gained from running regularly. Muscle weighs more than fat so by running a lot, I'm actually putting on weight. I can only handle one type of weight gain at a time.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:37

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Taking Stock

I've been slowly moving my old posts from about 3 years ago onto this blog. Then it was geocities and I set it up from scratch. Then I was in Melbourne. So, I'm feeling kinda blue now having read some of the old stuff. It really was a different life and we really were unaware of what we were going to be in for coming back to Singapore.

Somethings that I talked about then that have actually happened-

1. I have lost some weight
2. I am indeed a teacher now
3. I've got married
4. The bubble tea bubble has burst and right now, I'm really craving for some

Sonethings that I talked about then that haven't actually happened-

1. I don't live on $4.96- but I am still perpetually broke.
2. I haven't signed up to do my PhD.
3. We haven't moved back to Melbourne despite the this isn't permanent mantra

So, all in all, this trip down memory lane has made me sad because we were so full of hope then, of not leaving Melbourne for good, about going back and we're still stuck here. We have not much of a choice seeing that we're still pretty much bonded but I wish we'd done more to get ourselves headed in that general direction. It also depresses me that I haven't actually started doing my PhD. I still maintain that the longer I stay away from it and the longer I put it off, the much less likely I'm going to ever do it and that in itself scares me.

Life here really isn't all that bad and I think that's the big danger that we might end up being weighed down by inertia. It's easy. We've got our home, a car, our lives, friends and family- it's easy to just be contented. And I'm ashamed to say that I've fallen into that trap. No doubt, we complain and we bitch about how stupid, inconsiderate, unfeeling people are here and how stressful, expensive, controlled, choiceless life is here, but we're still happy and living it out. In itself, there's nothing wrong with that, because if we weren't happy and we were seriously bitching and complaining and making life for ourselves and people around us miserable, then we'd have turned into the people we really dislike. But then again, these old posts remind me of how much fervour and passion we had about things, how much we cared for and loved life and it feels like that's dimmed with all the busy living we've had to do here.

So I guess, that's why people have things like that lying around, to remind them, to give them a jolt back into "reality"- that there were things out there we swore to do and we should do. So, we should really get off our asses and do them.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:51

1 thoughts...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Morbid fascination

There's this colony of ants that hangs out in my kitchen. I'm not as freaked out about them as I am the lizard family that lives there too. But then again, the ants are all pervasive and annoy me more than the lizards because they're all over the place. The lizards, well, more or less stay clear of me and when met with a face to face confrontation, are oft deafened by a blood curdling scream that can be heard two blocks away.

So anyway, the ants have been annoying me- they get into everything, the empty cereal bowl in the sink that I'd forgotten to wash, or a careless drop of something on the counter. Today, I decided to act on it and bought ONCE and ALL EFFECTIVE ants and cockroaches KILLER- it's some kind of bait that lulls the ants into thinking "mmmmm, yummmm, food..." and bring it all back to their nest thereupon, poisoning the entire colony, which sounds rather like biological warfare on ants if you ask me.

What took the mickey out of the cruel ONCE and ALL EFFECTIVE ants and cockroaches KILLER was the little explanation on the back of the box.

Top Gun(Once And ALl) Ants and Cockroaches Killer is specially formulated to extinct the entire colony.
The granular bait will attract the pests to carry back to the nests, thus, the whole colony be affect and wipe out.

Somehow, such instructions coupled by the large CAUTION word on the front of the box followed by the fine print that announced- Unlikely to present acute harzard in normal use, just made it sound like a science experiment more than anything else.

And to me, it was. I spent a good five minutes staring at the ants that materialised out of no where, hovering near the little pellet of "magic goodies", suspicious of it. They kept scuttering back and forth the box, as if daring one another to go closer and closer and closer....I switched off the kitchen light when I had a visual confirmation that two of the ants had firmly latched themselves onto the little granules. Tomorrow I shall check the pellet again. It's a little like leaving cookies and a glass of milk out for Santa.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:41

3 thoughts...

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Planet Fitness

I ran this morning, for the first time since last Saturday's blistering run. And I'm very disappointed with myself. It felt like I hadn't run in six months. It felt like I was running through sludge. My legs were heavy, I had a stitch and I couldn't muster enough energy for that last minute sprint. Disappointment much.

And I also thought, hauling my sun burnt body out into the sun would have even out the tan. I did slap on some SPF 35, just to make sure it didn't roast. What I didn't count on was the edges on my sunburn developing blisters. Little water bubbles. I don't know what they were, but they really freaked me out. It looked like something out of Alien! Yikes.... And the peeling, I'm like a snake now... shedding and all.

All in all, not exactly the most attractive of sights.

Note to self... sun bloc is my best friend. One would think that my living in Ozzieland for 3 years amounted to naught.

Sleepy much.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 01:34

2 thoughts...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Shadow Eyes

School's officially out. In that, I no longer need to go in just so that I clock hours. But the holidays haven't started. Each year, when it rains like cats and dogs and every canal and long kang, both big and small is flooded, 16-17 year olds and 18 year olds take an international exam which requires invigilators from a centre that is not their own.

So, because of that, I'm back at my alma mater, invigilating.Translation: Sitting there, staring at kids do an exam that I did ten or so years ago, in a classroom that perhaps, ten years ago, I did an exam in.

As a grown up would, I did some sort of mental comparison in my head. Not the paper, because for the life of me, I cannot remember a single thing about those/these dratted exams. But I did look at the students taking the exams. And I compared them to those I knew, my own school kids. But then again, I wasn't being fair in comparison. These were Arts students I was invigilating, so they sure had a whole lot of spunk than mine, whom R very kindly called sweet.

My observations:
A girl named Fair XXXXX (insert any name)- and as luck would have it, she's not fair skinned at all. Some sense of humour, albeit bad, on the part of the parents.

Another girl, from the same class that I was invigilating, could have been barred from the exam hall. She had goth eyes to the max, as in, deep, dark eye shadow, on her eyelid and below her eye so major goth and at 7 in the morning, it looks seriously misplaced and inappropriate. Plus, the uniform! Most school skirts were designed to look unflattering. But this school, had the distinction of a rather flattering school skirt. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for our goth candidate, so she took a huge pin and pinned the A-line-ness of the skirt down to make it short and extremely tight which once again added to the extreme unattractiveness of her entire get up.

I shudder to think about what I deemed as attractive when I was 18. And I shudder to think about what my teachers or other adults thought of me at that age. Here she was, dressed as if she were a halloween reject in the exam, obviously thinking that she was one attractive babe. And to make matters worse and further exacerbated by her extremely, tight short skirt, the girl had no idea how to keep her knees together, so me, the long suffering invigilator had to studiously keep away from looking up her skirt. Had I been a male invigilator, I think I would be permanently beetroot or that entire aisle would have the liberty of cheating because I wasn't going to go anywhere near that vicinity.

The conclusion is, this school sure has a whole lot more characters than mine does. I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing, but it sure makes it a whole lot more colourful. It does make me wonder, like I say, how myopic and daft we must have been at that age.

Ah... the wonders of 20/20 hindsight.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:12

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Trophy Wife

We are now members of The Tanglin Club, after last night, the Welcome-Introduction Night which is akin to the initiation rituals of the Boston High Society. When Dan first talked about it, many years ago, I remember thinking it was Singapore's equivalent of the debutante ball and indeed it was except I wasn't the one who was presented to society. Dan was.

The men were in suits and apparently, the women were supposed to dress up. I turned up in a sarong Kebaya to cover up all the sunburn and evidence of my doppelganger life as a concentration camp escapee only to realise that most Singaporeans' idea of getting dressed was work clothes. So, stating that I was over-dressed was an understatement.

But, my outfit and the way I must have looked last night was an asset to my husband since my role was merely to stand, look like the perfect wife standing a step behind her husband and smiling prettily, doing everything to advance his standing in society. All I had to do is step up on cue for the second round of introductions. The first round is done by Dan's dad... "May I introduce my son..." followed by Dan stepping up to the plate, short of the low curtsey and the white gloves, to shake hands, smile and engage in meaningless small talk. The second round requires Dan to go ..." May I introduce my wife..." which is my cue to repeat the previous choreography.

Rinse and repeat five times.

The conversation revolved around congratulating one another on how well run the club was and trying to entice me, the trophy wife to attend the women's luncheon where there are fashion shows. Uh huh. I have time for that- loads of it.

It was amusing in a roll your eyes sort of way because everyone was taking it very seriously. All through the evening, Dan kept asking me if I felt like a tai tai yet and the truth is I really didn't because I wasn't attracted to playing bridge and neither was I interested in joining the ladies luncheon and that unfortunately is the definition of a tai tai. Another thing a tai tai should have that I don't is the big hair, so no I didn't feel like one.

I think there were some women who couldn't wait to embrace that status though. Wives, about my age, jumping around excitedly at the prospect of a ball they can go to, and a belly dancing talent nite that they can participate in and a luncheon they can join to gawk at overpriced clothes and jewellery. So, I guess it isn't me. I would like to shop and do tea but I would also like my brains intact, be respected for my intellect and not while away my afternoons in a smoky bridge room.

So perhaps, I don't mind being a tai tai, but on my own terms and not a club tai tai and one night of being a trophy wife will last me a long long while, especially since I need time to recover from those 4 1/2 inch stilettos that were made by a man called Max and his company of women hating men.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 07:40

2 thoughts...

Monday, November 01, 2004

12 things...

I know I should blog, but I haven't had the time or the inspiration though much has happened.

1. One of my best friends is back on homeleave
2. I ran 5 km under 30 minutes in a triathlon yesterday
3. I am so severly sunburnt I don't think I could lie down
4. I have the strangest tan lines from the aforementioned sunburn
5. I have 950 tattooed on both arms because it was inked on and the sun could not penetrate through the black ink. So, I look like a concentration camp runaway.
6. School's out
7. I'm an appointed wedding planner
8. I've officially put on weight from all the running that I've been doing- who says exercise makes you lose weight?
9. My antioxidant levels are down- apparently exercise introduces free radicals into your body and they're not good. So, once again, who says exercise keeps you healthy?
10. I had a subungal haematoma- basically, my toe nail was so stressed by all the running that it got really painful and I had to go to the doctor to get the pressure relieved. He did this with a 1000 degree hot piece of heating element that basically cauterised my toe nail... Fried toenail smells like anything burnt
11. We ate out so much, we're very broke.
12. I'm not visible enough in school and that's not because of Dan's accusation that I'm too thin.

Ok, in too much pain to carry on. Sunburn is not fun at all. Owwwwwww

Ondine tossed this thought in at 01:18

2 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"