giovedì, novembre 10, 2011

Physical experiments in running

You know what's really good? When you make your morning smoothie with coconut water instead of milk. Holy shit.

I seem to have slipped back into the running routine, despite the heat. Just getting up earlier to do it, and tolerating being a lot hotter. I guess I really am addicted now. It's still mostly for the physical joy of it, and to hopefully make things a little easier on myself to squeeze out a baby, and to admire the birds, and things like that. But I also like how it makes me look. Today I got a "stunning . . . stunning" from a passing trans-sexual, who really actually was stunning and had obviously worked hard at being so. I'm choosing to believe she wasn't being sarcastic.

Not paying attention to my body for years, it's coming as some sort of revelation to me that when it's hot I need to drink more before I run or else I'll get a headache, and when I drink more before I run I need to pee more. Thank god for the seclusion and trees here, and the lack of poison ivy. I guess if I was living in one of the cities here, which had been a brief future possibility until the F-word found his snazzy new job in the area, it'd be a lot harder to pee al fresco. But along with shit food and reprehensible drinking habits, Australians have also inherited the British passion for public lavatories, so it all works out.

Speaking of cities, next week we're getting in visitors, three in two weeks, and part of that will be over my birthday, which we're gonna spend in Brisbane eating Asian food and being exposed to some sort of internationalist culture. Can't hardly wait.

mercoledì, novembre 09, 2011

Drinking through the heat

It's fucking HOT here. That's nice. Though I've been running a little less because it is really too fucking sweltering to get going by the time I get going these days. That's okay though. I think when I actually do get out and run I'm killing it twice as hard because of it being so fucking hot.

In the swelter a young woman's thoughts turn to cool and refreshing drink, and when she works unpredictable hours and is preparing for her fucking Madarin exams they cannot always be alcoholic, and so I'm drinking a whole range of things I've never drank a lot of before, never having lived so extendedly in such a sweltering place and never having had to put the same premium on sobriety.

1. Coconut water. Not from fresh coconuts, they don't sell those here. A friend of a friend at a market got a good supply line to some coconut plantations up in the for-realsies tropics (coconuts need seaside and constant heat so there are no plantations here, the winters do sometimes approach freezing at night) and started trying to sell them around L--- as they're sold in Chinatowns and other Asian-type neighborhoods all over the world, chilled and with a hole cut in them so you could drain the deliciousness with a straw. He stopped pretty fast because the main reaction he got from the market was "what're those?" This from a country that puts desiccated coconut in its fucking coffee, for fuck's sake. Now he runs a sausage stand. Sigh. Fucking Australia.

Anyways, there are no fresh coconuts here in any quantity, but luckily the supermarkets cater to the high Asian student population, even if no one else does, so I can buy pop cans of coconut water, which have no crap in them - just coconut water and sugar. It's a touch over-sweetened, and it's part of what is keeping me pleasantly padded despite hour-long runs and big kayaks and other sundry elements of my get-my-body-in-trim-so-I-can-try-to-avoid-pre-eclampsia-or-whatever-the-fuck fitness routine.

2. Iced tea. The shit you buy makes me want to retch. I know that's still the case because yesterday when I went out to my Mandarin tutorial I bought some and wanted to retch. But the last time I was in China, I picked up some fucking awesome tea, and was given some by ethnic Chinese colleagues not from China who wanted to show me how much better their tea is than Chinese tea, and surprise surprise, really good tea makes really good iced tea too.

Especially now that we have our own garden to flavour it with. It was last year's clementine glut that really got me going on the iced tea - cutting those fuckers up and dumping them in a pitcher with some lightly sweetened tea was a good way to get rid of them.

3. Kombucha. You could probably guess from the kimchi and ginger beer production that I'm sinking into the world of fermentation, and now I've found the easiest one of all. Particularly in this hot climate, which accelerates the kombucha's fermentation, so it's ready in four days instead of a week. I'm not much of a one for super-fizzy drinks, but the fizziness of the kombucha is just right -  dialled down a step or two from that disgusting sweet wine Italian teenagers and the British drink - Lambrusco? Is that it? - so it gives your palate a tiny tickle without going down any less smoothly.

The only problem with the kombucha is that the F-word is a total pig for it. I can see him controlling himself when he's drinking it but it's obvious he wants to sink the whole pitcher, and I know someday I'm gonna fucking come home and there'll be no fucking kombucha, I'm just WAITING for it. Like back when I used to not hide the reefer from him because I thought that as an adult he should be capable of self-control. I'm not so silly anymore but I can't hide the kombucha; when I pour it off I keep it in the fridge, and our fridge isn't big or dirty enough to hide things in.

martedì, novembre 08, 2011

Retro ranting

Some fucker of a friend of mine on Facebook put up a vid of Sheena Easton singing that fucking "9 to 5" song because they'd had a flashback to being a kid listening to the Minipops singing it. (Hey, fucker? I can't remember if I told you about this blog, or if you read it, but if it's yes and a yes, you fucking fucker, you have burnt my fucking balls with annoyance over this). Sometimes I worry that the kids these days are getting fed anti-feminist, overly-sexualized narratives and expectations in their pop music, and maybe they are, but I can't think of one more pernicious and disgusting than Sheena Easton's "9 to fucking 5".

Some bint stays at home in a state of zombiefied boredom while her wage-slave meal-ticket goes and pisses his life up the wall at some crappy job for some cunt somewhere controlling the means of production,  and then she only blossoms into something like existence after he commutes home, blows his salary on her material desires, and gives her a good fucking. As if, in real life, a man can consistently work a nine to five job, come home, and be in the mood for blowing his paltry salary on his woman and then maintaining a boner for anything like enough time to actually satisfy her physical needs. And as if, in real life, a woman can spend her days sitting around in a mingled state of utter boredom and high sexual tension without losing her fucking mind or, I don't know, actually going to find something to do that doesn't involve waiting for her nightly ration of pampering and cock.

Honestly, I have never fucking heard a more blantant combination of capitalist and anti-feminist propaganda, in song form or out of it. And then the fucking Minipops singing it. Oh, fuck. I mean adults are dumb enough to buy into that shit; how the fuck were children supposed to figure out that 9 to 5 jobs kill your emotional existence, let alone your sex life, and that women should do things besides waiting around to be spoiled and nailed by a meal-ticket to get some happiness out of life? The 9 to 5 dynamic is evil. It's repugnant. It's exploitative. In fact, it's everything Dolly Parton says it is, in her own, vastly, IMMEASURABLY superior "9 to 5".

PS I mean frankly I can't even fucking BELIEVE that both of these songs qualify as the same category of THING, the fucking Dolly Parton song is so much better that it shouldn't even be from the same planet as Sheena Fucking Easton's song. It seems utterly bizarre to be caught calling them both "songs". That is all.

lunedì, novembre 07, 2011

Carbe diem orbos

So the downside of the F-word being gainfully employed is that he can't come to India with me in December. Shit. It would have been so much funner with him. Oh well, I guess theoretically it will be a work trip anyways, and I should concentrate on working, confining my fun and shopping and exploring to the weekend.

I have a sense, though, of urgently having to carpe diem, and go to these weird new places now before we have babies, when we won't have the energy, money, or nerves to haul kiddies around the world too much, or at least not to places we haven't been to before and don't know the ropes of.  My experience of Asia remains confined to Shanghai and Singapore; I have a feeling that's like trying to get a sense of Europe through Newcastle and London (ergo est just not on).

How long do I have, I wonder. We just thought through the schedual for next year's magazine - there are four downtime weeks. I chose one in June so I could go to Europe to see the grandmother, if she's still alive. I didn't say I sort of hope I'm already in my third tremester by then. I didn't say it in part because I don't know if I am sure I sort of hope that. Life is so lovely right now without any kids in it. I wish our fucking birth control methods would just spontaneously fuck up and take the decision out of my hands. I don't have the mental equipment for it.

And I don't even nearly have the confidence to make it - to say, okay, now I'm going to start trying to do this to some poor, unsuspecting unborn spirit floating around in the ether waiting for its next crack at karma and the eventual escape from the cycle of existence. I don't want to be looking at my kid in ten, twenty, thirty years and be thinking, sorry, kid, you didn't deserve me; you should have been born to someone who wasn't a monumentally selfish lightfoot with a pottymouth and zero housekeeping skills. You deserved someone less opinionated, less mentally unstable, less misanthropic, less Dread Pirate Jessica, in short.

By the same token, in ten, twenty, thirty years, I'm even more petrified at the prospect of all of the things my children could have been but weren't because I didn't have them, and maybe they were born to some fat suburban reality-television watching cockwanks who didn't even read to them or take them anywhere nice for their holidays instead, and they're fucking miserable and spending all of their unconscious energy wishing they'd had a family like us. 

I'm also petrified of dying while they're still in their formative years. Sometimes inconveniently, I actually am religious in a recognizably Christian sense, and the idea of still having some sort of recognizably conscious existence and having to impotently watch the world fuck my child up after I'm dead just makes me want to vomit all over my computer. Holy fuck.

What a fucking world, man.

domenica, novembre 06, 2011

Let the record show . . .

. . . that November 6 was the first time it occurred to me that maybe we'd stay in Australia. You know. It's the summertime here. The F-word's all employed, and I'm incredibly overpaid. The birds are singing, we go to the beach a lot, the economy's tanking and I'm figuring out how to shop so things are feeling a tiny bit cheaper, I can still visit home for a couple of months at a time, and we have some really nice friends here . . .

I'm being cautious as hell with this feeling, mostly because the same practical objections exist to us living here permanently that were already in place before I felt this feeling, which by-the-by is a feeling I usually associate with my first month in a new place, not my eleventh, so it's weird. The main one is I can only be happy here while I'm incredibly overpaid and I don't know how long that will be the case. If I can stay incredibly overpaid here for the next five years, then we can start thinking about staying. If I don't, we have to leave. Simple as that. I don't think the odds are good of me staying incredibly overpaid for five years. Call me a pessimist. I don't even know if I'm going to keep feeling overpaid once we make babies.

Also, I suspect - and this is a case either of shocking paranoia or shocking egoism or both, and I'm glad I have a blog to voice it on - I suspect that our friends here, (besides Squidsy, all other couples), are on a charm offensive to get me to like it more here. Ever since I got back from Canada (during which time, the F-word told me, he'd let the cat out of the bag about our frustrations and our plans to move back to Europe eventually), they've been so damn nice. The men have been more courtly, even gently flirtatious, and the women have been so helpful and decent with kombucha starters and aloe plants and advice about reusable menstrual pads.

I understand they all have their own frustrations with the place, and many of them (they are all, by-the-by, either both non-Australians or melanges like us) have their own plans to leave eventually, if only for a few years. But I suspect the F-word in particular is a welcome ingredient in all these barbeques, etc., that we're having, and as another non-Australian who can talk about things besides reality television I'm welcome too, and that there aren't so very many of us, and now that they've got us they don't want us to leave again. Actually, I don't have a problem with that at all. Personally I'd be heartbroken if any of them left before I did. Even when Squidsy's wife did a runner, even though we didn't have much in common besides enjoying good food and abusing Australia, I was sad for days.

Speaking of Squidsy's wife and us not having much in common, I'd lent her a copy of La Cousine Bette before she left which she couldn't read because of the prose being too dense. Which reminds me to tell you that La Cousine Bette is fucking good read. Holy shit. What an awesome book. Balzac must have had some serious problems with the women in his life because they're all repellent or pitiable. There are one or two men in the book who aren't - maybe even just one - so I guess he had almost as many problems with the men. Holy shit. Such a brutal narrator. Like an entomologist with particularly good prose watching species of the most disgusting kind of insect. I bet he was a fucking joy to live with.