Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reading Comprehension

Today my 综合 teacher told me my reading was excellent. Which is good and all, except she sounded so surprised. I mean, yes thanks, I am not actually the class dunce. I misread one character: I said 住 (zhu) instead of 往 (wang). I’ve done worse, certainly, but I felt like she thought I was incompetent.

Just when I thought I was getting good at this shit.

In other news, I have a new hot water bottle. It is red and soft and fuzzy. They sell electric hot water bottles here, but I just… the thought of the combination of electricity and water seemed like a recipe for disaster, so no. Just no.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday's Photo

This was taken last Thursday, in Tiger Leaping Gorge.
I wanted to include one that I took on Friday morning, but alas, it seems to be on Mum's camera which is back in Australia.
On Friday morning, eating breakfast with this view, my Dad turns to me and says, "Where's the entrance to the Mountain Kingdom?"
And I say, "What?" thinking he's being serious.
Dad says, "Where do I go to knock on the secret door by moonlight so I can go into the under the mountain kingdom?" (and he calls me a geek).
I say, "Dad there is thing called fiction..."
Later on, when we were hiking, I looked at the mountains and saw what looked like a tiny cave mouth near the top of the gorge on the other side. (The photo on Mum's camera.)
"Look Dad," I said, "Moria."
"Let's go!" he replied.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday Song

Life Effect by Stars

sorry for wasting your time
five long months on the telephone line
hours of asking if you were fine
and saying i was fine too

sorry but i’ve got to go
the birth was quick but the death is slow
there was so much i didn’t know
and so much i never knew about you

and so we disconnect, the room grows quiet around us
it’s called the life effect, will it always surround us?

who made you happy last night?
i don’t know his name, but christ can he fight
as i fell, he told me you had a light
i light that shone inside you

i found myself a decent man now
i love him because i can
the bravest that i’ve ever been
was when i ran away from you

and so we disconnect, the room grows quiet around us
it’s called the life effect, will it always surround us?
and so we disconnect, the room grows quiet around us
nothing left to protect, the end has finally found us

the day is almost over, it’s almost time for bed. so now you’ve finally lost me, rest your weary head....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Word of the Day


I like the way it sounds. I like sibilance of it; I've always had a week spot for 's' sounds. It's the sound of slow, comfortable conversation, of people who know each other too well to have to speak loudly. It's the sound of people sitting on the verandah with their shoulders touching, leaning on each other, into each other, drinking tea together, birdsong as the backdrop and the wind teasing the trees as they softly share secrets.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Word of the Day


... yeah I was writing an essay.

Oh No November!

I've gone insane(r).

I signed up for NaNo. There's this novel I've been planning for YEARS, which I could never get to work, and I've finally said fuckit and decided to write it as the big, sprawling epic it wants to be, all about Gods and Demons and Angels and Fae and Mages, and a love story... I figure, I'll write it until the story is done. That was my block, I forgot it was a story first of all.

So I signed up for NaNo. I have a 5000+ word research project due in November (which involves talking to people. I AM NOT GOOD AT TALKING TO PEOPLE). And my mother and grandfather arrive in China on the 6th and in Kunming on the 12th. And if I want to submit stories to the UTS Anthology (and I do) I have to have them written. And this in ADDITION to the 16 hours of language class I have each week, which carries ungodly amounts of homework with it...

I may not survive.

Of course, typically of my family, my parents are bitching to me about my Grandpa not being organised, and my Grandpa has just emailed me asking if I can get my parents into gear, because it makes much more sense to talk to the 22 year old who is in another country than to pick up the phone and talk to each other, I don't even know.

Can it be December already?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Word of the Day


This was in my Chinese textbook as the translation for 搭配, and I thought it must be a typo. Nope, turns out it's an actual word. You learn something new every day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quote what I like

Historically, with whom do we fight the most frequently? It is our nearest neighbors or those closest to us in terms of religious or social ideology, even our family members. Christians, Jews and Muslims? Neighbouring clans in Africa, or gangs in New York? Husbands and wives? It often appears that it is not truly the "other" that we fear. It is the all-too familiar, yet different in ways that shock our sensibilities, that we rail against most loudly. Being understandable to us, we cannot easily consider them so foreign as to ignore.
- Sam Mitchell

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Someone said it better

I wanted to write a post, but then I read this, and realised I wanted to post that instead.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This is why I hate reading the news

I know what the reaction will be to this post: I'm hysterical, and humourless, and a feminazi bitch who needs to get a life and focus on what's really important, with the understanding that, of course, what's really important cannot be the niggling sense that the society in which I live is sexist, and wrong, and wants to treat me like a thing.

Same song, second verse...

Why was this article headlined on Windows Live Today as: "Stepfather killed: Teen 'sex slave' to stand trial"? If it was me, I would have headlined it "Rapist killed: Teen victim to stand trial", or "Teen accused of killing rapist". But I guess that would paint the poor girl in far too sympathetic a light for the media.

The article, too, is a bit hit and miss "after she performed the act" where I would have said "after he assaulted her" (correctly assigning agency "after she performed the act" implies consent) and "many pictures of the pair engaged in sexual activity" where it should read "many pictures of the man raping her".

Please, people, call a spade a spade, and a rape a rape.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Note to self: packing sucks.

Dust in places... well.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This post at Shakesville reminds me of a story a substitute professor told me. He was a baby lecturer (his words) at Sydney Uni, in the 70s, the early days of Women's Lib. One day a young activist protested the use of the male pronoun as universal in the University handbook. It made it sound like all the students were male. The women students were feeling a little alienated. Don't be silly, said the male Dean, it's understood that the male pronoun is universal, and means men and women.

Now, this activist had a mate at the printing press, and when the next bunch of student handbooks went to print, there was one small difference. Oh sure, the book was still written with only one gender pronoun, it was just that - it was the female pronoun.

The Dean pitched a fit. How dare those feminists! It made it sound like his University only had female students! The horror! Don't be silly, said the activist, it's understood that there are students of both gender.

Of course, it wasn't understood. The Dean ordered the run of handbooks pulped. The activist's mate (and higher-ups who had failed to disapprove the change) were fired. But the activists won, because someone realised the Dean's hypocrisy. Obviously, it mattered, and the handbook started using both pronouns.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ah, Work

At the moment I have nothing else to talk about, and so: this weeks bitchiest customer at [Restaurant].

Customer at Table M has been catty to us all night, let's call her Snob, for reasons which shall become obvious.

Snob: Excuse me, but we're finished with this cake, and we just thought the Staff might want it.

(Now, we have been given cake before, but something about her manner seemed off.)

Me: Oh, ah, thanks ma'am but that's ok really...

Snob: No. Really it's quite tasty, we just thought The Staff might appreciate it.

Me: Well, thanks ma'am... *I take the cake, feeling like a peasant being given the scraps from The Lords table. Snob gives me a filthy look, like I'm not being grateful enough.* I'm sure we'll all enjoy this.

As I later remarked to AmericanR, it's the first time someone has managed to insult me by giving me cake...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Just quickly...

... I'm not sure what to make of this. Part of me is going "Ha! Taste of your own medicine, boys!" and the rest of me is aware that eye for an eye doesn't actually work.

And it won't bring Ms Hodder back. But at the same time, the backlash against the bullies is reassuring, and proves that there are people out there who don't condone that sort of behaviour.

In lieu of an actual post...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Obligatory New Years Post

It's the 1st of January (duh) and considering last night's Tequila consumption, I am surprisingly un-Hungover. Yay!!!

So moving on to the New Year's Resolutions, of which I have Three:

1) Blog more. Preferably daily (complicated by the fact I'm spending most of 09 overseas...)

2) Write more. Finish the damnable first novel which has been killing me for two years now.

3) Get fit. Not 'lose weight', 'get fit'. Mainly because I want to get some hiking in while overseas, and at current fitness level... no. Just no.