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 (slightly paraphrased, for clarity and faulty memory purposes)

*someone has left a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet on the table in the break room*
Coworker: I hate Jehovah's Witnesses. You shouldn't push your beliefs on other people.
Me: I don't agree with them but I have sympathy for their position.
Coworker: Why?
Me: Well, if you genuinely believed that people would go to Hell for not believing what you believe, wouldn't you try to convert them?
Coworker: What do you mean?
Me: ok, if I believed that there was a man outside this room who killed everyone with blond hair, and you had blond hair, then wouldn't it make sense for me to try to convince you to dye your hair brown so that you won't get killed?
Coworker: Huh?
Me: If I was about to kill myself, you would try to stop me, right?
Coworker: Why would you try to kill yourself?
Me: Maybe I was really depressed, I don't know.
Coworker: Of course I would try to stop you, but what does this have to do with religion?
Me: *gives up*

This was a particularly frustrating conversation for me because so far this is the only coworker who's shown even the slightest glimmer of intellectual curiosity. In fact, 10 minutes before this conversation she loudly declared herself to be 'philosophical'. Seems like being 'philosophical' isn't quite enough to separate beliefs about the world from facts about the world.
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- The store where I work has been sold to another company. The interesting part of this is that the deal includes the staff.. we're not allowed to transfer over to another store in our original chain. A lot of people are outraged by this. Me? I doubt things will change much, since I never saw a shining career path for myself in retail anyway. If anything it's just more incentive to go get a real job.

- Speaking of getting a real job, I have no idea what I want to do. Postgrad/Honours beckons to me as a way to avoid making a choice for a while longer, but even if I want to become an academic I'll eventually have to start applying for programs/positions/etc. As for a real job, nothing really appeals to me at the moment. Tech support is too much stress, programming is either too hard or too monotonous, linguistics jobs don't really exist. I'm due to graduate at the end of the year though so I can't put off some kind of decision for too much longer.

- I have two new flatmates! Well, new to this blog, not new in my life anymore. Two Egyptian guys who are short on English. One of them is also short on brains and common sense, and long on drama-queen-ness. The other one wants to study nursing and is working 7 day weeks to save up for it, so that leaves me with Dramaboy. Coincidentally, Dramaboy managed to fracture his rib right at the start of my holidays, leading to an order from the doctor to stay home from work for the following month. Did I mention that Dramaboy is highly extroverted and has no way to entertain himself most of the time? Needless to say this has not been the most enjoyable or restful holiday I've ever had. I'm seriously considering moving out, either to be by myself as being preferable to being with people I can't stand, or to move in with someone who I'm already friends with and whose close proximity I reckon I could put up with on a long-term basis.

- I came home from work today to discover a card in the mail informing me that my gas was being disconnected due to an overdue account. One worried and pissed-off call later, it turns out that said card belongs to another flat in my building. Phew.

- Enrolled in a workshop/group thingy for social anxiety. I'd say more about it but ironically my anxiety is kind of getting in the way. Possibly more about this later, when I'm not freaked out as much by the idea of deliberately revealing my problems to people, even if it's just over the interweb. Oh and my intake interview established that I'm also depressed, which is not surprising news to me. But since I'm managing it ok on my own the shrink agreed with me that the social anxiety is a better place to start.
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Today I had a conversation with my Indian coworker, who is a fundamentally good person. This is the person who said that being gay is unnatural up until the point where I told him that animals are sometimes born gay too, at which point he changed his mind. He's also not religious at all, although nominally Hindu.
The conversation started, as it sometimes does, with him asking me for confirmation on a variation of the Elders of Zion myth that a friend told him, namely that the Jews were responsible for 9/11 and that the 'proof' is that not a single Jew died in the event. After I told him that it was complete and utter crap, he compared the hate between Muslims and Jews to the hate between India and Pakistan. He then went on to talk more about the hate between India and Pakistan and what Pakistan did to deserve India's hate and how they want to destroy eachother utterly. I then posed the following question: If you had a magic button that would cause Pakistan to vanish off the Earth and all the people in it to die, would you press it? He would. I then asked him about our Pakistani coworker, who he's great friends with. At first he was like "no no not him, he's all right". But then he said "but actually, on the matter of India and Pakistan he's not all right. I would give him a choice: either he gives up being Pakistani or he dies as well." Also apparently Pakistani's aren't really people. They're a kind of fake human, so it doesn't matter if you kill them.
I spent some time trying to talk him out of it; that killing everyone isn't necessarily the best idea. He responded with the analogy of a garden that you apply insecticide to - it kills all the bugs, not just the bad ones that are eating your food, but it's necessary if you want to protect the food. There may be better ways to get rid of them but while you're thinking about it the bugs are damaging your garden and there wont be much left to protect if you're not careful.

I found the whole conversation to be deeply depressing. Maybe he's right, and you need to utterly destroy things that are a present and future threat to you. But to hear someone not so different from you talk casually about the need to wipe entire populations off the map is extremely disturbing.
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Do you think you're good at expressing yourself in English? Try this sometime: Being asked by your male Indian coworker to explain some stuff associated with female menstruation. Using explicit sex terms is right out both because we're at work and because I don't think they would make it across the language barrier. It's also somewhat awkward due to me being female and him being male; menstruation is not a normal topic of conversation, so my natural inclination is to use more indirect language. But English is his second language and there's a lot of terms that would require further explanation. So my challenge was to come up with a G-rated and indirect explanation of one of the more intimate aspects of female anatomy, using the simplest language possible.

I think 90% of these conversations are spurred by the fact that part of our job is to tidy the shelves containing the condoms and feminine hygiene stuff. The rest being supplied by the woeful lack of sex education my coworkers received in their home countries.
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One of the guys at work is trying to headhunt me for some project thing he's working on outside his regular job. Details are very light and so far all I know is that it would be some sort of web-based promoting thing. I'm not even sure what capacity my coworker is trying to headhunt me for, it was more along the lines of "hey if you want to earn some extra money, we're looking for hard-working intelligent etc etc people to work on this unspecified project, come to a briefing/business pitch on Sunday!". Anyway, my curiosity has kicked in and it could be an amazing learning thingo for me if it works out so looks like I'll be going to the briefing.
Motivation; that's what I've been missing so far this semester. The pace in my Linguistics subjects is too slow to make me feel pressured, so I've been falling into my old bad habits of wasting entire days/weeks and then feeling crap about myself because I've done so little work, so a side job of some sort would be good for me in that sense too, forcing me to get my act together.

Watch this space for new developments :)
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I didn't expect it, but I'm finding cooking to be strangely satisfying. At home I would never cook, or at most heat up or shallow fry something that had already been prepared for me. But last week I made stir fry, cooking the meat and vegies myself, and there's just something about being self-sufficient which pretty much outweighs all the hassle I always associated with the activity. This afternoon I'm making another stir fry to use up the rest of the vegetables in the fridge, after that I'll see what we have left in the fridge and start thinking about what to make next. Yup, I've got the bug :)

Then there are the covnersations.

One of my coworkers watched some YouTubes about the 9/11 conspiracy theories, and became unsure about whether they were true or not. In the ensuing discussion I mentioned in passing that conspiracy theories are fairly common, just look at all that stuff about how the moon landing was faked. So of course he comes in the next day we were working together and tells me about how he looked up the moon landing conspiracy stuff and is now unsure about that too. 
On the one hand, I'm sort of horrified that I work with people who could believe this sort of stuff. But on the other hand it does make me wonder about my own upbringing, that I've been so immersed in the mainstream Western point of view that I dismiss all this stuff without even thinking about it. Those guys are fringe lunatics, of course they're wrong. Unlike my coworker, I haven't bothered reading or watching any of the 'evidence'. I just accepted the status quo. And that's a little bit alarming to me.

Then there was the other coworker I was arguing with this morning about gender stereotypes. He'd been complaining about one of our mutual coworkers and ended by comparing this guy's style of talking to a girl, because he was pestering him for juicy details. And by doing so he pushed the button on one of the few things that will get me really riled up, namely the whole gender equality/stereotyping thing. He could accept that saying that all Jews are stingy or all Indians are smelly is definitely a racist thing to say but couldn't accept that there was any similarity between those and saying that all women are fragile. The difference he cited was that one is just being racist while the other is proven scientifically... I'm not even gonna bother commenting on that one anymore.

And then there was the conversation I had with Zhe about why I'm almost a Luddite when it comes to taking up new technology. The main thing that came up was that it's an issue of cluttering up one's life. All my friends who've gotten cars and/or laptops have quickly found those things to be indispensable, which then leads to going to all sorts of measures to ensure that this now-all-important device can be used all the time. Any hassle associated with owning one quickly becomes invisible to the owner in the face of the device's usefulness. But as a have-not I can definitely see the hassle involved. To me a laptop means having to lug around an extra 2kg and constantly worry about it being stolen or damaged. Not to mention constantly being on the lookout for a powerpoint because it's not the sort of thing you can forget to charge for a day or two, like a mobile. The associated benefits of having a laptop are pretty good but I'm still not sure I can be bothered complicating my life with one, especially as everyone seems to become dependent on it surely after getting one. And it's much the same for the car. Most car owners become ridiculously dependent on the convenience to the point where they'll often refuse point blank to use public transport if they can possibly help it. Having a car means paying large amounts of money for the privilege of worrying constantly about bookings/accidents/damage. Of course it also means being able to go from point A to point B a lot more efficiently most of the time and at any time of day, but once again I'm not really sure it's worth the extra clutter in my life. *shrug* 
I'm sure there are lots of my friends who'll read this and think it's a stupid attitude, but.. I really do prefer not being dependent on half a million things just to feel as though I have a good quality of life. I can totally see myself becoming a hermit one day, the kind who spends their days meditating and stuff...
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The time was 8am. The actors, a 12 year old girl and a 40-ish ballet teacher. The weather on that day was, to put it lightly, brisk. The teacher, bundled up in jacket, scarf, and all manner of other clothing looked at the girl, standing at the barre wearing nothing but the standard-issue leotard, tights, and canvas ballet shoes, and shivered internally. "Aren't you cold?" she asked. "Nope!" came the cheerful reply as the girl pushed her insteps against the floor in an attempt to increase their flexibility. The girl's ballet exam was just a month or so away. She and the teacher were in the church hall on a Saturday morning for a private lesson to work on her technique. The teacher looked at the girl again. No sign of shivering. No visible awareness of the temperature. The teacher sighed. "You must be cold!" she said with just a hint of questioning. An innocently blank look was her only answer. She took the only option left available to her. "I think there are some leg-warmers and a crossover in the Lost Property. Wait here." Minutes later, with the girl properly attired for the weather, the class finally started.


And that is a much-expanded version of the story I always tell when trying to illustrate my apparent indifference to the cold, the time my teacher (who's Welsh by the way, and so should be more used to the cold than me) refused to start a ballet class until I put on some warmer clothes. In reality it's that a) I warm up very quickly when doing any form of physical activity, b) I have a peculiarity of liking to have my arms free and my hands uncovered when doing said physical activity, so I either don't wear long-sleeved tops or push the sleeves up, and I very rarely wear gloves of any sort. It's probably a holdover from all those years of doing ballet with completely bare arms. c) It's not that I don't feel the cold, it's that in typical INTP-ish fashion I find it easy enough to ignore the discomfort as long as it's not actually impeding me in any way (so if I'm actually shivering or my hands are starting to go numb I take it as a signal that maybe I should be wearing something warmer). Having said that, this winter has almost been too much even for me. The new flat is so cold that sitting around playing PS2 causes my hands to go numb after a couple of hours, and gloves just don't cut it. And yesterday at work it was cold enough that I didn't have a whole lot of feeling in my hands for most of my shift. Last Sunday morning saw the AGL temperature display in Bondi Junction saying 3 degrees Celsius and the cold certainly had enough bite for me to believe it. One of the older ladies at work decided I must be British because apparently I have a hint of an accent and then of course there's my seeming to be completely acclimatised to the cold :)

Number of people so far this week who've asked me "Aren't you cold?!": 5 (average of 2.5 per day)

If I get asked a few more times I think I'll start making up reasons that are more interesting than "I don't feel the cold that much"

  • It's against my religion, the Frosterians, to avoid being cold
  • Cold is a myth perpetuated by fundamentalist conservatives who want to see everyone cover all exposed skin
  • I don't believe in the cold
  • I'm trying to lower my immune system in the hope of catching an exotic disease and making medical history
  • I'm starved for attention, being asked whether I'm cold is the only interaction I get all day
  • My jumper got eaten by a migrating polar bear on the way to work
  • Yes I am cold, wanna warm me up? *wink*
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Well things have been rather hectic lately, but I can now say that I'm 90% moved in to the new place :) However we still don't have Internet (or a phone for that matter..) so instead I'm blogging from uni :p

So now time to cram a few short random entries into one MEGA ENTRY


This was.. interesting.. to watch. On the one hand, the CGI Transformers were everything you could ask for. On the other hand, they didn't get enough screen time, the dialogue between the actors was incredibly stupid, and what the hell was with half the random characters in that movie?

Ranty spoilers )
Anyway, despite all their efforts to ruin an awesome movie I still liked it on the whole. The military scenes were cool, the Transformers themselves were awesome, and I eventually warmed up to the character of Sam Witwicky.


I'm not sure whether this is related to the whole Introverted/Extroverted thing, but it came up while my friend (who's Extroverted) and I were moving stuff between homes and flat. It's about forms of relaxation and internal landscapes.
I prefer to relax by disengaging from the world as much as possible. I'll read books, go on solitary walks while listening to music, and engage in activities where some processing is required but not so much that I can't let my mind wander to completely unrelated areas while doing it. Working in a supermarket and playing a lot of oldskool Sega games are examples of activities that let me do this*. In some ways they're almost a form of meditation. But basically for me relaxation means retreating to the inside of my head and letting my mind do what it likes without active direction from me, or immersing myself in another world entirely but one where I don't have to make any decisions myself, such as a book.
My friend on the other hand prefers to relax by engaging himself in something. He'll play complex computer games, go out with friends, surf half a dozen webpages while listening to a DVD in the background, that sort of thing. It means finding something to occupy himself with, be it other people or tasks that he makes up for himself.
Neither of us could imagine being like the other. For him, my way sounds boring. To me, his way sounds busy.
To add another layer, I'm the one who prefers disengagement and yet it's he who comes across as by far the more laid-back of the two of us.
I don't really have a point with this, I just thought it was really interesting, and I got a lot of insight into how some others think.

* This isn't to say I never play new or thought-requiring games or anything. I guess I enjoy those but I don't always find them relaxing?

Work related stuff

The bad )

As I mentioned previously, working in my current position is something of a Zen experience for me. My job only takes at most half of my available resources, leaving me with plenty of processing to think about all sorts of things. Thoughts such as..
  • Why is it that there are so many different types of toothbrush? If all these special features are so essential then by buying one you'll be missing out on all the other features you're not buying. I guess the best approach would be to buy one of each and alternate their usage, or something
  • There sure is a lot of theft of cosmetics and razors and stuff
  • The "You'll Love Coles" brand features pictures of people enjoying the product with a quote from them. Almost all the pictures look really really gay, and the quotes are nearly equally gay. It really makes me wonder what kind of demographic buys products on the basis of an endorsement from some random person who you don't even know (not to be confused with the completely authoritative endorsements from celebrities who obviously only put their names to decent products. Just sayin')
  • Almost all my coworkers are complete idiots. To the point where I hesitate to ask them to do stuff because half the time they can't follow directions properly. It's a little frustrating.

  • Mr Friendly

    So the other day Alex and I stopped at a crepe place in Bondi Westfield to get breakfast, and there we met Mr Friendly. Mr Friendly is one of those aggressively friendly salespeople, where not only do they feel the need to ask you how you're going and other attempts at small talk, but they'll just keep going and going and going (Oy!). We decided afterwards that Mr Friendly must have been the owner/manager of the place, since no one else would be pushing the friendly factor so hard. I'm really tempted to avoid that place from now on for fear of meeting Mr Friendly again, he was just that scary.

    On a related note, the week or so before we were in the same food court, buying lunch from Oporto, when the guy serving me decides to start a gaming related conversation on the basis that I'm carrying an EB bag and thus indicating that I like games. Once again, pushing the friendly factor just a little too hard for my liking. I prefer my serving people to be polite and taciturn rather than the whole service culture thing from the US.

    Hmm looking at the length of this entry that's probably enough for now. More to come when I can be bothered :p


May. 21st, 2007 07:40 am
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I lay down at 8pm, intending to have a short nap just before work. Opened my eyes some time later to find it was 3am. Basically I missed most of my shift and the rest wasn't enough to make it worthwhile :( Man I feel so bad, this is the first time I've missed a shift without any notice.

*sigh* on the other hand, my eyes feel somewhat better, and I can spend the whole day concentrating on Softcons since I'm not ready to fall into bed
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My tutor for Software Construction is a moron. Not only did he take forever to mark our assignments (and I use the word mark very loosely here), but then when teh results were finally released I saw that he hadn't reversed any of the results that the other tutors had reversed: (background: The lecturer in charge of the course tested for a number of things not covered in the spec and was ridiculously strict on the automarking guidelines). So now I need to write him a polite email asking him to look at them for me when really what I want to say is something along the lines of YOU LAZY MORON FIX MY AUTOTESTS FOR ME OR I WILL KILL YOU. Ahem.

At work this morning one of the guys left early because he didn't feel well. He told me that he couldn't find our boss and to pass on that he'd left for the above-mentioned reasons. The following conversation followed between me and my boss.

Me: Hey, [the guy's name] left early because he wasn't feeling well
Boss: Why didn't he find me to tell me?
Me: He tried!
Boss: Where was I?
Me: I don't know O_o

Cos ya know, if any of us knew maybe he would have found you..

From the bus on the way home I looked out the window and saw a guy walking with his kid. What made it special was how the kid was wearing a harness with a leash attached, held by his father. I would say more here but I really do think the image speaks for itself.
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Ge: Hey Jennifer!
Me: Eh?
Ge: How would you describe sex in a lift?
Me: *thinks for a moment, then the light dawns*
Me: Uplifting! :D

Um, more serious/interesting posts coming up as soon as I have both the time and energy to are-tick-you-late myself properly
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One thing you can say about the language barrier: It doesn't stop you from making innuendo upon innuendo. Naturally the first thing everyone learns in a foreign language is how to be obscene in it*. First there was Muid, telling me "I like your ass. I like to slap it!" and asking me what lubricant and condoms are for. In fact the condoms and lubricants section of Coles provides us with an endless source of cheap shots. Then it was Kallol with his neverending stock of how to say various things in about a million different languages. He'll ask "What is the meaning of nuts?" in a completely innocent tone. He'll tell us horrible horrible jokes about using cricketing jargon to describe women. And yesterday he informed us that rand/rund (the vowel is halfway between the a and u sound) is Hindi for prostitute. My last name only takes a very slight mispronunciation to turn it into prostitute in Hindi. And so it went this morning. I've been a rund all my life. My family have been runds for generations. This must have kept us going for a solid twenty minutes before we got bored of the "jen is a prostitute" game.

It's all so juvenile, and yet it's about all we have in common. A couple of my coworkers think Adam Sandler and Jim Carey are the pinnacle of comedy. *rolls eyes* And in the end when we can barely understand eachother both in vocabulary and accents, dick jokes are the lowest common denominator. At least no one's yet resorted to yelling "Penis!" in a crowded aisle.

And on the other side of the scale we have me with a better command of English vocabulary than most people I know. And yet somehow, when called upon to speak, nine times out of ten I'm the one who purely by accident keeps making sexual innuendos. Here are some excerpts from the list of shame:

--- "I love huge organs!.... Oh God, I can't believe I just said that" (referring to organ music playing in some distant room at the Powerhouse Museum)
--- "Head, anyone?" (referring to a whole trout that was delivered with head severed but on the plate)
--- Ge: My dad's a taxi driver
Me: What's he look like? I've probably had him a few times
(as a taxi driver damnit!)
--- "Tonight I'm just gonna close my eyes and open my mouth" (referring to a set menu at an Asian restaurant and the fact that I couldn't be bothered keeping kosher for once)
--- Matt: Oh look, I accidentally brought a third sock
Me: For your third leg?
(he usually goes barefoot so he'd brought socks with him. And I was trying to be witty and suggest that perhaps he really did have another leg stashed away somewhere. Sigh)

* I personally know how to swear in Hindi, Mandarin, Hebrew, and probably a couple of others that escape me at this moment.
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I have decided that rather than wasting everyone's attention span by bitching constantly about all the things that annoy me, I shall consolidate them all into a single weekly post, and this post shall be called the Ranting Swede Column*! So if you don't like reading my rants feel free to skip anything with a Ranting Swede title.

So first on the agenda is the commercialisation of Bondi Junction. It used to be that you could wander through the Bondi Junction mall and enjoy the sounds of people going about their lives, random birdsong, etc. And the bus station used to be nice and quiet and restful. Well, now they have a GIANT SCREEN installed in the mall with tv blaring from it at this horrendous volume. Just to clarify folks, this is a GIANT SCREEN in an outdoors mall. And the bus station now feels the need to 'entertain' us with whatever crap music they've decided we like and to plaster huge Nike ads (which incidentally advertises the iPod shuffle at the same time - very sneaky if I say so myself) all over most of the available surfaces. I liked the area better before it sold out :(

Second and third on the agenda are the usual work-related rants.
What kind of moron leaves a bottle of vinegar (with the lid only placed on top of the bottle so it LOOKS like it's closed) on the top shelf of a supermarket? Believe it or not, Coles employees do not enjoy getting their hair and shirt drenched in vinegar. Nor do they enjoy smelling of vinegar for the rest of their shift. Grrr.
And then there's still the guy who's decided that I'm attractive despite all my efforts to convey my complete lack of attraction towards him. Major annoyance there but not much I can do about it and still keep a decent working environment. His latest technique includes trying to impress me with his work ethic. This only makes me worried that when he finally gets the message that I'm not interested he'll turn back into a lazy bum, at which point I'll start ranting about my coworkers being lazy :p

Last on the agenda we have people who refuse to make choices. This is kind of ironic actually since I'm supposed to be of the personality type who stereotypically never make their minds up about anything, but one of my pet peeves is when a whole lot of people stand around discussing what to do and waiting for someone else to make a decision for them, or for some magical groupthink thing to happen, or something like that. Actually, I have no idea what they're thinking when they do this, because I'm usually the person who gets impatient and does the mental equivalent of flipping a coin and picking an option based on that. It's my need for efficiency at work I think :) Standing around wasting time because we're all being polite and/or indecisive is just so damned inefficient. And it reinforces how this whole socialising group "let's stand around talking about our feelings to make sure nobody gets offended when we finally make our choice" thing is just not me, since the bigger the group gets the worse this behaviour tends to get and the more impatient I get

/end rant

* The Ranting Swede is a character from the ill-fated Cartoon Network series Sheep in the Big City, which I always considered to be the spiritual successor to the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show based on the 'variety show' format of the cartoon. Anyway, the Ranting Swede segment always involved this one character having a good ol' rant about completely mundane things, so it seemed like a good name for my bitch-about-the-world post
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Today I worked my first midnight to 4am shift. I gotta say I quite like the culture at my store, for example the lady managing us for the midnight shift, Cynthia, was concerned that Muid and I might not have brought food with us and we had a long morning ahead of us, so she bought us some biscuits :)

The work itself was fairly routine, a nice change from face-up but not exactly world-shattering. We go around the store and put all the specials for the week over the regular tickets.

The other girl working at that hour, Mariann, well she and I got to talking and I mentioned I was thinking of moving out at some point and she immediately offered me a room in her flat in Clovelly, $160 a week and apparently she recently bought a whole lot of appliances and stuff for the flat so hmmm. And she gave me her phone number and everything so I could chase it up with her, which I found to be friendly but kinda bizarre, seeing as at this point she'd known me for all of 3 hours.

If you have a coworker who you know is deliberately not pulling their weight do you growl under your breath and put up with it, do you try to talk sense into the coworker, or do you complain to your boss? I'm not sure how to play this one

And at what point does playfully hitting eachother etc etc become harassment?

I need to get out of my habit of answering people using the least information/words possible. It's not that I'm deliberately hiding what I'm thinking and planning, I just automatically configure my answer to be as short as possible, which means leaving out any extraneous information. And I feel like it's probably doing me damage socially, reinforcing the first impression of aloofness that I tend to give off unless I'm on my best behaviour.

Oh and finally, a random moment from a week ago that was nonetheless rather amusing at the time:
SETTING: During face up at work, the other guy working was up the top of the aisle, Ge and I were down the bottom and Ge had just been ordered by the store manager Ashley to do some stuff.
Ge: So that was Ashley?
Me: Yeh, the store manager
Ge: Ashley's a weird name
Me: I dunno, would you prefer if he was called.. *pulls random male-sounding name out of the air* ...Robert?
Ge: He'd be called Bob then
Me: I don't think guys should be called Bob
*moment of silence while we both contemplate this*
Me and Ge simultaneously: BOBBB THE BUILDER
*exchanging of looks followed by laghter*
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Now that I'm all into linguistics, sometimes I find myself getting distracted from what someone is saying by how they're saying it. Case in point: This morning at work some guy who I don't usually speak to was talking to me and I found myself thinking halfway through about what his words were saying about his possible socio-economic background.
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At work we often come across whole piles of loose items that some customer has dumped , having decided that they don't want to shop anymore, or somesuch. On Tuesday I came across a particularly interesting set of such items.

Item 1: A thank you card and envelope
Item 2: A sympathy card of some sort. I regret not having taken a closer look at this.
Item 3: Condoms
Item 4: Lubricant
Item 5: A home pregnancy test

With a set of items like this I couldn't help but speculate about what the person was planning to use them for. That day I told Alison and Hein about the set of mystery items and how I'd constructed this scenario to explain their existence. Alison immediately came up with a different one. So did Hein. Just now I told Zhe about it and he came up with yet another plausible story that fit the supplied items. In fact, I invite everyone reading this to come up with their own story to explain what the person was planning to use it for.

But wait! you say. What about my story? Well..

The person who left it was obviously a man (because everyone knows that cards only work on girls, so it would be a guy planning to give it to his girlfriend rather than vice-versa). He's concerned that his girlfriend may be pregnant. Now, when he gets home, he'll give her the pregnancy test, and then depending on the outcome, give her one of the cards (thank you if she's not pregnant, sympathy if she is) and use the goodwill generated by the card to solicit intercourse from her.


Oct. 8th, 2006 08:01 pm
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This weekend has been full of bad stuff happening to me:

Item 1: I arranged with my manager at work to start working on Saturday mornings. Timetable changes usually don't take effect until the next week. So of course on Saturday morning at 7:30am I'm woken up by my manager wanting to know where I am, and then asking me to come in. Luckily for me I was only half-asleep at the time so getting up and hauling ass to work wasn't too much trouble. And he apologised for making the mistake when I did get in :P

Item 2: Last night I ordered a taxi so I could get to work on Sunday morning (the bus I normally take doesn't run until 7am on Sundays). I booked the taxi for 4:40am. At 4:30am I was outside playing with the cat and doing exercise. At 4:45am I was looking at my watch and pacing back and forth. At 5:05am I was blasting the taxi company over the phone about it. The guy at the other end claimed a taxi was there at 4:43. When I stated (in a voice as cold as the depths of winter) that I had been waiting outside since 4:30, the only response I got was an offer to book me another taxi. 15 minutes later I was finally on my way to work, getting in half an hour late. I am never taking an early morning taxi again. Instead I will be walking down to Bondi Beach and getting the 380, which runs early even on a Sunday morning.

Item 3:  The router upstairs has decided to stop working. So now I'm blogging about it from my dad's computer downstairs.

On the other hand, this weekend hasn't been entirely empty of good stuff. Yesterday I finally typed up and submitted my part of the Software Project Management assignment.  After work yesterday I went and bought the 4th season of Babylon 5 so that I can finally finish watching from where I was up to. And today I spent mostly watching said Babylon 5 =) It's strange now I think of it, B5 is the only hobby/TV show I've ever gotten so emotionally attached to. While I was watching the new episodes today I was sitting on the couch grinning like an idiot, being moved almost to tears by the tender moments, and laughing out loud at the dry humour. Did I mention how much of a nerd I am? For the next 4 Thursdays I'll probably go and pick up one season of B5, so that I'll have the full set and will be able to fully appreciate the series' awesomeness
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1. Shana Tova! (That's Happy New Year to all you non-Hebrew-knowing folks)

2. What have I been up to all this time you ask? Well.. working mostly. That and assignments and Revue Front of House. I wish I had some coworkers who weren't the Indian equivalent of fobs though. On Thursday I had to train up 2 new guys from Bangladesh, which puts the ratio of Indian males to white females 3:1. And none of the new guys say more than 3 words at a time to me, not that that matters since its so hard to understand what they're saying anyway. My original coworker and I have reached a friendship of sorts, where we can understand eachother 80% of the time and actually talk to eachother every now and then. Here's to hoping I get to the same level with the new guys eventually, or maybe even become friendly with them *gasp*

3.But in between that, I went to Mia's 23rd birthday two weeks ago, where I ate copious amounts of food, failed at Guitar Hero, sang along (badly) to Singstar.. in short, great fun was had. I only knew a few of the people there, the rest were Mia's friends relatives and friends of relatives, but they were a pretty friendly bunch altogether. I also got to marvel at David's GPS on the way home, which is an incredibly cool gadget and reminds me of how much of a nerd I am, drooling over a piece of electronics that speaks to tell you to take the next right turn.

4. I saw CSE Revue on Wednesday, and it was so awesome that I decided it deserves a numbered paragraph all to itself. Things that were awesome about it included the band number, the set, the nerd humour, the glowsticks, and the band number. Did I mention the band number was awesome?

5. Today I decided to finally put my money where my mouth is. In the past I have been heard to express sentiments such as "If I had the money I would buy it instead of downloading or getting it off friends", and so now that I'm Officially Rich* I went to JB Hi Fi today and picked up 3 CDs to start my collection of legitimate music. Yay!

6a. Today I and some others formed a group for Software Project Management. We needed a group name and no one could think of anything clever off the top of their head. So I suggested the name of the piece of music that was playing on loop inside my skull at the time. Our group is now named Stream of Consciousness** :D And as I type this I can still hear it playing right now inside my head.

6b. I think CSE Revue has finally gotten to me, judging by my joke tonight at the dinner table which I like to think was worthy of Alex Mednis***
*TV playing in background*
Mum: Didn't we see the news already? Oh, its just.. Lateline? No, Stateline.
Me: Bah its all so confusing, Lateline, Stateline, Dateline. And when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was on they had the option of Mateline.

Needless to say, no one laughed.

*Officially Rich: Earning a decent amount of money on a permanent basis, and having a large-ish amount sitting in the bank account... well, a large-ish amount minus $50 after my CD purchases.

** For those not in the know, Stream of Consciousness is the name of the CSE Revue band number. You should get that song. Seriously.

*** CSE Revue member and incorrigible punster. Most of the time I don't know whether to laugh, kill him, or kill myself when I hear one of his puns.


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June 2017

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