Problems of a small town

  • People you don’t want to meet work in shops you want to go into
  • You can’t go anywhere without being spotted by someone you know
  • My father knows where I am and how to contact me
  • Fruit & veg are ridiculously expensive
  • ‘Closed until February’ is a common sign in the shop windows over Christmas
  • No-one has Foxtel and all the tv channels are ‘regional versions’

My hometown is one of those quaint picture postcard places that people from the ‘city’ pass through on their way to the beaches of Queensland. It’s full of churches, boarding schools and Edwardian houses. The main pastime is gossiping about other people in the town and discussing the weather. After one week, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a good place to visit when I start thinking that Perth is getting a bit too tame for my liking.

I always get a bit lost when I come home  – with not much to keep me occupied and without my familiar stuff around me. Generally there is nothing to do but sit and chat, which is good…for a few days. Then you run out of things to talk about and the topic of conversation turns to the weather, who has died and who has had a baby.

I think I’m suffering from fruit and WoW withdrawal. I’m normally a three-pieces-of-fruit-a-day-girl and I think I’ve only had a banana in the last week. I could do with a mango or several. And WoW….maybe it’s a good thing I can’t play it or I’d never emerge from my bedroom to see the light of day.

It’s New Year’s day tomorrow and it will be a deja vu xmas experience without the presents. I’m cooking a turkey roll at the moment to have cold with some salad. We’ve still got a half a ham left over from xmas so that will make an appearance as well.

Happy New Year all!

A belated xmas

On Thursday night I jumped on a low-cost carrier and flew to the other side of Australia to the sleepy little country town that I was born in and where my entire family lives.

My journey started with a forty-minute wait in the check-in line and then a rush to the front of the queue in the last five minutes of check-in ( I was at the airport an hour and twenty minutes before my departure time like a good girl!) When I eventually started the check-in process,  the booking I had made and paid for over eight months ago had somehow disappeared. Several hurried calls to manager-type people as I stood at the check-in desk followed and at last I was checked into a cabin crew seat. Upon boarding the plane I had to wait up the back of the plane while everyone else boarded and when an empty seat appeared mysteriously on the ‘full plane’, I was ushered into it.

Not quite the best start to an overnight flight.

But the plane did make it on time and I made my connecting flight and twelve hours after leaving Perth, I arrived to tears and hugs and all was right with the world.

Christmas lunch was a low-key affair with ham, turkey, chicken, prawns, pickled pork and salad. Followed by a Christmas dinner of ham, turkey, chicken, prawns, pickled pork and salad. Followed by a boxing day lunch of ham, turkey, chicken, prawns, pickled pork and salad. Followed by a boxing day dinner of….I’m sure you get the idea. I’m pretty sure I know what I’ll be having every day until New Year’s day.

M’s plum pudding went down a treat with sighs of ecstasy echoing around the table as everyone took their first bite. I don’t think they quite believed me when I said he made a mean pudding, but they’re definitely converts now to the Church of M’s Orgasmic Plum Pudding.

I’ve been spending some quality time with my nieces and several hours were spent today playing mini table tennis. Yesterday several hours were spent playing Humpty Dumpty’s wall game (think Humpty sitting on Jenga). Even my attention span was waning after the 501st time building the damn wall.

Tomorrow I have more niece-minding duties and I’m thinking it’s going to be several more hours of mini table tennis and humpty fucking dumpty. God, kill me now please….

So, yeah, all highly exciting stuff I’ve been doing over the past few days. I bet you can’t wait for my next post…

Working girl

Well, I got the job.

The one that I forgot my bra for in the first interview. Remember that one?

Yeah that one.

After a second interview on Tuesday and much too-ing and fro-ing about salaries and whatnot for the next three days, I received a formal job offer on Friday afternoon.

It was a tad anti-climactic receiving the call actually. At the moment I’m thinking about all the crap that comes hand-in-hand with starting a new job:

1. Telling your current boss you’re only going to be working for him for the next three days and that you won’t be here to cover for him while he goes off to have his wedding ceremony in Bali at the end of January.

2. Starting my new job with a two-week vacation (…bad timing that one).

3.  Having to wear make up and wear proper clothes (I’ve been going to work in whatever because there’s only my funky boss in the office anyway…)

4. Learning the ropes and discovering out who is a bitch to work for and finding out that the job looked better from the outside.

I especially hate no.4 and I’ve yet to do a job in which that wasn’t the case.

The other thing that is taking the shine off the excitement of actually getting a ‘real’ job is the fact that M is still looking for a job – and looking much harder than I had to. It would be nice if he had a new position as well to start the new year with, but after countless applications & interviews, he’s just not getting the opportunity he deserves.

I’m trying not to be too happy or too excited because I don’t want to wave it around in his face. If our positions were reversed I’m pretty sure that my partner getting a job while I was still looking would be like rubbing in salt; pouring lemon onto; and adding a layer of hydrogen peroxide to a wound that was painful enough on its own already.

He’s been nothing but positive about it though – congratulating me, telling me how proud he is of me and basking in the glow of self-gratification because he said I would get the job and he turned out to be correct…yet again.

I’ll be breaking the news to my current boss tomorrow. He probably won’t really give a shit, but I’ll still feel guilty all the same. Thinking back, I’ve left every single job I’ve ever done, so I’ve had plenty of practise at doing the “I’m resigning..” talk, but it doesn’t make it any more fun. This will be the lucky number 13th resignation talk.

I’m also considering taking the opportunity to ask my quirky boss if he has consummated his marriage yet.

(joking…)

(maybe…)

Kanji tattoos 101

So you want to get a tatt and you think Japanese kanji looks cool. Well, before you go and indelibly ink your body, there are a few things that you should know to avoid having something really unfortunate on your skin that people in the ‘know’ will point and giggle at forever and ever.

1. Choosing the word/words

Japanese consists of 3 systems of writing: kanji (characters borrowed from Chinese), hiragana (sound-based characters similar to our alphabet), katakana (same as hiragana but used for foreign words and is more angular and looks ‘less cool’). All three systems are used in combination when writing.

There are very few single kanji that have a meaning unto themselves so most of them are used in combination (usually two characters together) with hiragana being used to show grammatical function (i.e. the tense of a verb, whether it’s a noun, adjective etc.). Some words are also just written in hiragana because the kanji is too complex or it’s not on the official list, as there are only about 2000 individual kanji ‘officially’ taught at school.

Kanji does have intrinsic meaning, but it’s akin to the latin stems we have in English like ‘ped’ means something to do with the foot, so we have pedal, pedestrian etc. if we just saw the word ‘ped’ we’d go wtf? and so they do with Japanese if you only put half of the word on your body. I’ve seen in many tattoo books a meaning given to each and every kanji as though ‘this character means this’, but it doesn’t work like that.

A three-second google search will turn up heaps and heaps of images like this:

This sheet actually wins the award for worst font ever a.k.a looks like it was written by a pre-school non-Japanese kid and only four of them are stand-alone kanji with the correct meaning and that are written correctly.

Most of these ‘words’ need another character(s) to correctly give the meaning indicated and many of them are just totally wrong.

Oh and don’t be fooled into thinking that you can ‘spell’ your name out in kanji either. Yes, it is possible to match some sounds to your name, but the resulting kanji will be gibberish.I have a seal that I had made out of the sound of my last name because I needed one for contracts and things. It literally says, ‘house, well, habour’ and it’s a great joke. Imagine that as a tattoo.

There are a few four-character-kanji-idioms that can be used to pack a lot of meaning into just four characters. They are a like proverbs in English in the sense that you have to know what they mean as they don’t make sense on their own. If you didn’t know what “two in the hand are worth four in the bush” meant you’d be like wtf, right?? Some examples of those idioms are:

literally ‘one stone, two birds’. I think you can guess what this one means.

literally ‘one time, one meeting’. Poetically it is translated into English as ‘treasure the moment’, but it’s a cultural idea that had its origins in the tea ceremony and it encapsulates the feeling that each experience is unique and so you should savour it.

literally “I, sufficient, just, know”. Poetically it is translated into English as “I know contentment”, but it’s a buddhist idea about being content with what you have and the average Japanese person would have no idea what it means.

It’s also important that you realise that Japanese is a very different language to English. I know this seems like a no-shit-sherlock thing, but I still see people trying to tattoo “Mom” in Japanese on themselves. Compared to English, Japanese is a very contextual language, meaning words will have different meanings depending on how you use them. As an example, the ‘mom’ thing. There are a few words for ‘mom’ and all of them are labels that depict your relationship with that person.

How you refer to other people’s mums and your mum when you are speaking directly to her (honourific).

How you refer to your mum when talking to other people (non honourific), but it’s rude to directly call her that.

Most recently people call their mom, ‘mama’ and it’s written in katakana like this, not kanji because it’s a foreign word from English.

So if you’re going to tattoo ‘mom’ on your arm, which one are you going to use? It all seems too complex and un-natural to me.

Similarly if you’re of a bdsm bent, words like ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ are just not cool in Japanese, they come across like ‘woman with many partners’ or ‘female selling body’. Funnily enough, the word for ‘Master’ is also the word for ‘husband’, but the difficult twist on this is similar to the ‘mom’ thing above.

Is how you refer to your husband/master to other people because it’s rude to put an honourific on your own husband

But if you were being a good slave and suitably submissive, you would use this to their face with double honourifics. But it also refers to someone else’s husband/master and without the context, it’s a bit weird as a tattoo.

2. Realising there is a difference between Chinese characters and kanji.

Kanji was borrowed from the Chinese but it’s gone through some changes in Japanese. Many of the characters have been simplified and many have a different meaning in Japanese. This is the same character ‘ki’ (chi in Chinese):

Japanese

 

Chinese

I’ve seen some fail tattoos where they’ve mixed the Chinese and the kanji, so make sure you’ve got one or the other. If you’re going with Chinese, go Chinese all the way and the same goes for kanji.

3. Choosing the font.

Font is really important. I’ll say it again, font is really important. Really. Really. I can’t say it enough. I’ve seen a lot of fail kanji tattoos that fail because they look like they were written by a pre-schooler with a crayon. You wouldn’t have someone do an English tattoo on you if their writing looked like shit would you? No. You’d have them do some cool calligraphy or at least have them use a template of a good-looking font. Same goes for Japanese.

Poorly written gibberish - she thinks it means passion, it means 'during heat' or 'tropical'

 

Japanese looks better with a slightly thicker font and something that is a little more artistic.

The one on the right has been very poorly written. Several of the strokes are too long and the angles are weird.

The one on the left is well-balanced and a good over-all look.

Another very important part of kanji are the ‘flicks’ and the spacing between characters. Flicks are created when the strokes are done in the correct direction and a tell-tale sign of a fail kanji is one in which the flicks are in the wrong direction. It’s also important to know what parts of the kanji need to be put close together and what parts needs a space. Some kanji are actually a combination of some simpler one character kanji, but when they are ‘squished’ together they form a new kanji with a different meaning. Meaning can be lost in translation when you put a space in the wrong place.

Also make sure that you’re not getting a fail mirror-image tattoo. Know which way your character goes and make sure your tattooist does too.

4. Style.

Tattoos in Japan are traditionally artwork of carps, cherry blossoms, dragons etc. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Japanese person with a kanji tattoo and that’s because to them, kanji is not a picture it’s a word. I’d imagine we would think twice about tattooing ‘beauty’ or ‘love’ in big letters across our body. If you want to get several kanji done together like ‘peace’ ‘prosperity’ ‘love’ etc., I’d suggest you get them done in a design like a mandala or something that separates the characters completely. Just randomly having the kanji on your body looks fail because if you see kanji together, you want to read them together and if it’s just random words that don’t make sense in combination, it’s weird.

I’m guessing this guy wanted ‘love, life, learn, laugh’. And other than the first character being a bit poorly written, each character is ok (although the last two don’t really function as ‘to learn’, ‘to laugh’ as they are, they need some hiragana and the first one is ‘love’ as a noun, not a verb, but let’s look over that.) If they were separated by some design, I’d be okay with it, but as it is, I want to try to read it from top to bottom and it’s just weird.

5. Don’t get weird shit tattooed on you.

 

Ball
Flat or level
Suzuki - I hope this person's name is Mr Suzuki or they at least have a bike

 

Power/energy/strength + woman = wonder woman?

Check, double-check, get someone who knows the language really well to check, check some more and then do it. These people obviously didn’t.

(Note: I don’t speak or read Chinese. In fact, I couldn’t tell you the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese (although I believe they use the same characters) so I don’t know if any of these tattoos function correctly in Chinese. Ultimately I’m talking about kanji and Japanese here.)

Bitch for a day

You would think that after many, many failed bets with M that I would have learned my lesson by now, but no. I still feel the need to get up on my high horse and make bets when I think he is wrong and I am right.

I’m usually wrong, of course. Actually, I’m wrong 99.999999% of the time.

Yesterday we were talking about wave rock. I had it in my mind that it was north of Perth because I distinctly remembered bitching and moaning to M about why we didn’t go to wave rock when we visited the Pinnacles. M said that it was east of Perth, heading towards the gold fields.

I said that I would bet that he was wrong and he said, “What are you willing to bet?”

And I said, “I’ll be your bitch for a day if I’m wrong.”

And he said, “So that means nakedness, collar and boots from 9am to 5pm? And you’ll do my bidding all day?”

And I nodded.

And I have shit for brains.

Needless to say, wave rock is east of Perth and this Sunday, I’ll be his bitch for a day.

Wouldn’t it have been fun if he’d lost though??!!! Methinks he wouldn’t make a very good bitch….he moans too much.

I’m a tits and ass man

My favourite thing at the moment is not looking at the funky search terms on my blog, but looking at the funky groups I’m being invited to be a member of on Flickr….

Ample ass….

I think that just sums it up beautifully.

I was having a quick browse through fet today and noticed a thread about what size & shape of ass spankos liked. Apparently it splits down the middle with 50% of guys liking small, tight ones and the other 50% liking a bit of well-endowedness and jiggle.

M says that I have a ‘demon ass’, but I suspect that he is a bit biased in his assessment, as he knows my ass would pucker up and form the deepest black hole ever to come into existence if I got so much as a whiff of non-acceptance from him.

Personally, I’d rather have a small, tight one. Although it probably provides you with less padding in the case of an impending beating, I’m sure it makes clothes shopping much easier and I’d imagine that it’s nice to have a spare inch or so when sitting in low-cost carrier seats. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the negatives of an ample ass outweigh the positives by about a billion to one.

That one positive being, of course, that the ‘overhang’ of cheek helps keep a butt-plug in – which may or may not be a positive, depending on which side of the butt fence you sit on.

I’ve often dreamed about having a gap between my thighs and a view of…..nothing. The fact that I can see my ass through my legs has always disturbed me and it’s probably a god-send that without assuming the police frisk search position I can’t see through my thighs because I don’t have The Gap™.

Actually I’ve heard that some guys have a gap fetish. I wonder if that’s mutually exclusive to a camel toe fetish?

Anyway, I guess you’re wondering where the tits come into it…

Well, I while ago this ad was on tv here and I’ve loved it ever since. I go around the house singing the song – just because I’m spethial like that.

So.not.feeling.festive.

I think it gets worse each year. In fact, I’m not just feeling non-festive, I’m actually finding that anything to do with Christmas makes me want to hurl.

I went out in search of a new outfit for my 2nd job interview on Thursday night after work and started getting really nauseous right after I spotted the flash of Santa photos being taken from a hundred feet away in the shopping centre. Things just went down hill from then on.

I was also painfully reminded of why I have to get really motivated in order to go clothes shopping – it’s impossible to find (a) anything I like and (b) anything that fits me properly. I’m not sure why but I found it IMPOSSIBLE to find a shirt with a collar and 3/4 or long sleeves that I could wear to an interview. I wasn’t even being particularly picky about material or colour or anything, but they just did not exist! Instead I found racks of floral hippy maxi dresses, sleeveless ruffled shirts and trampy shit I’d wear if I was working the streets.

Then I tried to find a skirt. That was a whole other kettle of fish. First I grabbed four styles in a size ten to find that none of them fit my ample ass. Then I went looking for size 12s and of course they didn’t have any. So then I grabbed three different styles in size 12 and they didn’t fit my ample ass. So then I went looking for size 14s and couldn’t find any. Then I found three different ones in size 14 and they fit my ample ass but I could have driven a truck through the gap around my waist (and of course there were no size 12s). The one size 12 I did find that fit me had a flaw in the fabric but there was only that one left so I didn’t want to buy it.

It was almost comical.

Two hours later and forty-five things tried on later, I managed to buy two skirts (one had a slightly broken eyelet but I can sew that back on myself and it fit me so I was buying the fucker) and a shirt/jacket type of thing that has sleeves that are two inches shorter than I like but is bearable.

So this is the outfit:

The only redeeming feature of this top are the gathers at the back:

The detail on the skirt (I really like this so I sucked up the broken eyelet at the back):

And shoes (previously purchased):

I was so glad M wasn’t with me. He would have exploded after the thirty-minute or ten-outfit mark – which ever came sooner.

So after the outfit, I decided I needed a handbag to go with it, so I splurged and bought a guess hobo (25% off so I couldn’t resist):

I’ve been lusting after a ‘proper’ bag for about 18mths and was going to buy one with some bling, but I thought that bling probably wouldn’t give me the right image. Jungle print? Maybe. Blinding-the-interviewer bling? Probably not.

While out shopping, I also grabbed a couple of prezzies for M and something for my sister. Some bastards broke into her car and took her mp3 player and all the cables and some cds she had in there. It’s sad that in some sleepy little backwater town people still do crappy things (I know you’re not supposed to leave them in there, but still…) It’s even crappier that she is having such a crappy time with her ex and everything. After talking to her for a couple of hours on Wednesday night, I just thought I really needed to do whatever I could to make her happy.

Anyway, so there I was in the bath shaving my bits on Friday morning before my scheduled interview when I got a call from the recruiter saying the interviewers were unable and they wanted to postpone until next Tuesday. I felt like saying, “But I just shaved my bits for them!!” but I thought perhaps that would be akin to saying at the end of a job interview, ‘I’m not actually a dickhead’ so I refrained.

So Tuesday it is. Let’s get this show on the road.

A rant and an update

We were having lunch with some friends the other week and for some reason, we got onto the topic of religion. Normally I don’t get into discussions of a political, historical or religious nature, but this was just one discussion that I couldn’t stay out of.

One of our friends, let’s call him The Mr. No Tolerance (TMNT for short, and yes, it brings back memories of when I was addicted to those little green men in the 80’s), was going on about how in his office, there is a very smart, knowledgeable, skilled guy who has some ‘funky shrine on his desk with some ridiculous statue of some elephant thing that he worships’ and TMNT has completely lost all respect for him and is now questioning the guy’s intelligence because he ‘believes in something stupid’.

We informed TMNT that the gentleman in question was a Hindu and the ‘elephant thing’ was Ganesh. Over the course of the next twenty minutes we pointed out how worshipping an ‘elephant’ is no more stupid than worshipping some fisherman with a beard or lighting candles in front of a big piece of wood shaped like a cross and religious beliefs are not a reflection of intelligence or professionalism. He couldn’t be swayed though and said he’d never let a doctor operate on him if they prayed to an elephant (although I seriously suspect he has already received medical care from someone with ‘stupid beliefs’ and just doesn’t know it.)

Yeah. It just made me cringe how narrow-minded and intolerant he was.

I’m not a highly religious person, but I’ve been to my fair share of churches, shrines, temples & mosques over the years. I’ve prayed to various deities, bought charms, amulets and done ceremonies to remove ‘bad spirits’. I see these things as more cultural activities than religious ones and I’m always happy to experience other people’s beliefs and ‘do what the locals do’. Some people might say that doing religious activities without being a true believer or doing them just for the sake of doing them, is disrespectful and ignorant, but I’m of the belief that people are always more pleased when people make an effort to ‘join in’ and are accepting than when they stand back, point and say ‘it’s stupid’.

I suppose people are entitled to believe what they want to believe and if they believe that praying to an elephant is stupid, I guess that is a legitimate belief too, but it just rubbed me up the wrong way.

I thought later on that I should have pointed out to him that belonging to the religion of M/s is pretty damn stupid too if you’re looking at it from an observers point of view. If you’re a subscriber to the Church of Masters and Slaves then you have a pretty hard time convincing a non-believer that what you believe and do is ‘normal’. I wonder how he’d feel if people thought his ability to do his job was impaired by the fact that he likes to keep a girl in a collar or he likes to smack someone’s ass. I’m pretty sure he’d been offended if his private life reflected on his private life and he was told that he was getting a pay cut because his belief that he was dominant over his submissive partner meant his IQ was 20 points less than if he didn’t have that belief.

But anyway, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink, right?

In update news, I did my test on Sunday and it was okay. It was long and the sound of the shuffling papers around me was really annoying (Why do people have to shuffle?? Pick a page and do it damn it!!) There were words I didn’t know – words I’d never seen in my life and probably will never see again –  and so there wasn’t anything I could do about them but make an educated guess. The listening was quite easy but I got bored in the middle of it and my attention wandered and I missed a question. That one was an eni, meanie, minie, moe situation.

The last time I did the test was 1997 and all I remember of it then was a pre-dawn bullet train trip to Tokyo and a sea of Chinese people. This time there was a pleasant drive in the Range Rover courtesy of M and maybe 15 people who were mostly Korean. Results come out in mid-February next year.

Remember that job interview I had where I forgot my bra? Well, the emergency substitute bra must have worked because I’ve got a second round interview on Friday. This time apparently there will be three interviewers with the addition of another big-wig to the two people I met last time. I have no idea what they’re going to ask me, though. There’s nothing else I can tell them about me and we went through all of the classic interview questions last time:

 What do you like and dislike about your current job?

Give us an example of a problem you’ve run up against in your work and how you handled it.

What do you think are the challenges with dealing with Japanese clients?

Give us an outline of your typical work day and what you do. (I was pulling stuff out of my ass for this one…)

How are your Japanese skills?

Maybe I should offer lap-dances and juggle? That’s all I’ve got left up my sleeve.

In case you were wondering…

I’m not dead.

I haven’t been abducted by aliens.

And I haven’t been sold into slavery.

(…couldn’t resist that one…)

I’d like to be able to say that some seriously good shit happened and I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn’t have time to blog.

But it didn’t.

Lol.

Actually the slightly banal reason behind my long absence was the fact that we didn’t have internet for OMG FOREVER.

Actually it was five days, but in innernet time, it equated to several years.

I’m now 35.

Not.

Lol.

And now the internet is fixed and my hands have stopped shaking and the twitch in my eye has gone.

That withdrawal thing is some serious shit.

Not much else to report.

Other than the fact that I was seriously looking at the letter opener on my desk…and my wrists…and the letter opener…and my wrists… last week as I whiled away many hours doing sweet FA at work.

Please god, let me have a new job.

I’ve been good and painted my toenails for each interview I’ve attended.

And I’ve purchased a new bra that was several sizes too big in order to attend a job interview sans nipples-in-interviewer’s-face.

What more do you want???

Oh, and I also made bread.

From scratch.

With my bare hands (and an oven).

x 2 loaves.

A crusty rye and a swiss grain with 9 grains and 2 seeds.

I feel so proud.

And just in case you ever need to know, the inside of a range rover is a perfect place to prove bread.

I wouldn’t necessarily go out to buy one just to prove bread, but if you have one hanging around on your driveway and it’s not covered in snow (like the rest of the world appears to be at the moment) give it a go.

Oh, and I’m totally over studying.

35,000 word vocab lists are just ridiculous. I’m betting half the words on there aren’t even known by your average native speaker of Japanese.

Oh, and I’ve got my test on Sunday.

And a dentist appointment on Monday.

Where, no doubt, I’ll be made to feel like a norti kid for not flossing my teeth more regularly.

Does anyone actually floss when they don’t have something stuck between their teeth??

Really.

Oh, and my laptop died.

Well, not the laptop, but the power cable. I swear they make those things so fragile on purpose so that you have to spend oodles of money to buy a new one.

$100 for a frickin’ cable??? The damn laptop’s not even worth that.

So I attempted to fix it with a pair of scissors and duct tape in my best-ever MacGyver impersonation, but it didn’t work.

Obviously I needed some string as well.

Then I gave up and ordered one from the internet.

In a very anticlimactic way.

Oh, and I watched Iron Man 2.

Should I be disturbed by the fact that I’m starting to find Mickey Rourke hot?

Yes, you’re right.

That is seriously fucked up.

So on that note, until next time.

Peace.