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I'm alive, I swear. But while I don't quite have enough energy and brain cells tonightto put together a post on how the English PGCE training has been putting me through the wringer every single day since mid-September, and taken me on roller coaster rides that included what felt like more downs than ups, here's a poem that describes in a very apt manner my feelings at the end of a "normal" day. Two weeks to go. I can make it.

The Problem of Describing TreesCollapse )

Marketing strategies

Dear Wing-Co,

I was recently informed by venta that you had launched a campaign for protein milkshakes, and that most of your marketing revolved around selling it to men.
Imagine my distress when I first saw a poster for this product at a bus stop. While I feel I should commend you for your attempt to appear international and integrate French into your poster, I'm rather befuddled about the whole thing. The poster claims that it is "lait d'homme".
I am going to assume that you used google translate, or one of your staff's vague memories of A-level French. Because you are now promoting your drink as milk coming from a (lactating) man.
However, I have also been reliably informed that if I translate it into "man milk", people get a completely different idea of what your product is.

And now I find myself very disturbed by your tagline, "manly milk for men with added man"....

Bad company, you made my brain hurt.

We used to be friends, and then I moved.

Dear cats,

I'd say that in the past twenty-eight years, we got on reasonably well. As far as I can remember, there have been no major break-ups or tantrums on either side, and while we might have swiped at each other now and then, the scars did not last, and any hurt was quickly healed with a cuddle. We've even cohabited for four years, and this multi-partner relationship went swimmingly, with you providing emotional support while I provided entertainment, food, shelter, and cleaning services. (This is important, see next paragraph)

But all that is over. For the past three months, we've edged closer and closer to disagreements, and you've ignored any and all of my requests, pleas, offers. So let me rephrase it more clearly. The freshly-turned earth I plant herbs and flowers in Is Not Your New Litterbox. And digging it up, then squatting over it While Looking At Me Through the Window will not make it any better. I have not been waving at you in glee, but trying to shoo you through the glass. Clearly there is an amount of miscommunication going on, but that stops now. This is not a case of "better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission". Please use your own garden/litterbox/anyotherplacebutmine. If I wanted to clean up after a cat, I would have gotten one. And it would chase you all away. So you'll need to get your act together unless you want more competition in the neighborhood.

No Love,


*grins* Neighborhood cats making me grumpy... and being incredibly aloof about the whole thing. It wouldn't be so bad, if the slugs hadn't decided to join in and Eat All The Things. So yesterday I presided over a ceremonial burning of tree branches and ivy stumps in the barbeque, and have liberally scattered the ash around the plants in hopes that the slugs will leave them alone. I've already lost one pepper plant as well as a small purple flower bush that never really recovered from them nibbling at its roots while it was in a flower pot. And of course, the sparrows are now having a frolick in the ash. *sigh* I'm starting to think that I'm fighting a losing battle here ;)


If I can't see it, you must be fine

Madness and folly have always held a special place in literature, a place of otherness, which remains fascinating, but unexplained, or at least not in a satisfactory manner. If you haven't read it, Erasmus' Praise of Folly is pretty amazing. One of the traditional figures these days is the "woman in the attic", Mr Rochester's first wife, whose plight is further explored in a slight exotic way in Wide Sargasso Sea.
A small rant on mental illness and discriminationCollapse )

*I am not making a case for early 20th century therapy. I am far from convinced that zapping people's brains, or giving them orgasm after orgasm, is necessarily the way to learn more about how to help people.
** I tend to be biased and assume that psychiatrists listen to their patients. I am aware that this is not always the case, just like it is not always true that patients talk to their psychiatrists, for various reasons. I do, on a whole, tend to believe that doctors want to make people better.

Best scam ever

A few weeks ago, I complained to aardnebby that all my spam was very disappointing. I only ever get money-related spam (from Nigerian-scams to lottery wins to Fedex and Western Union transfers). I felt discriminated against, and pointed out that really, it wasn't fair that he was the one getting all the hot girls from Russia and assorted alluring invitations.

That said, as of yesterday, I am now happy again, for this is what I found in my inbox (translated from the original French):
In which I am told someone has a contract on me.Collapse )

I was impressed by the level of language that the French version showed, with very very few typos. Am now inherently amused that he used my French university email address. *grins* I think I love this message just a bit ;).

London Below

Today is a day of delving into London Below.
Hopefully, it will be as good as expected :)
You can be special. Just be a princess.Collapse )

**Lily, my three-year-old niece, fits that description perfectly. She was enchanted with the wedding because I looked like a princess. But it's something my sister balances out with clothes she can run, jump, play cars and get dirty in. Her only princess frocks are the ones she wears for Halloween, when she is pretending to be someone she's not. The rest of the time, she's special, because she's Lily, and that's more than enough.

Lists and Thoughts

Thoughts running round and chasing each other while my brain is engaged with the translation. When things click, I can translate  pages and pages while thinking of something else... I suppose it's like walking and singing at the same time, in a way. Which is fine as long as the thoughts being entertained are fluffy and light... Obviously, when things don't click, my brain feels stupid and sluggish and I have to keep pushing it to think properly, but that's a different matter!

Lately though, the thoughts been rather ponderous *grins*. A lot of important thoughts about choices and decisions and about what direction I want life to go in (and whether or not I should want a direction at all). A lot of it has been prompted by children, and about how my choices and decisions (as well as aardnebby's) will affect them. I'm not necessarily talking about the ones we will have someday, but also about the children we socialize with right now, and how they perceive us as people, us as a couple, us as role-models, us as friends etc...Some of it has been prompted by the nagging feeling that I'm still in a "half-way" place, and not quite my own home yet. Which has been a reason for me to put off a few things that I'd said I'd do when I was in England... or when I was married... or... "in the future" (tm). A lot of it has been now rescheduled to "when I get a job".
Dust hasn't settled in my head yet, so a lot of it is still up in the air (and no, taimatsu, unfortunately, no flying ponies there at the moment). I'm still sifting through knowledge and decision making and hopes and dreams. I think part of it is also being afraid of restricting my options, which is slightly melodramatic I realize. But I've also decided not to put everything on hold either. Obviously, this means that I've now ordered pheasant for next week. And yes, there is a logic to it! Well, it makes sense to me, at least ;)
I feel I need to polish the conviction I used to have which meant that I never really expected things not to work out because why wouldn't they! I have little patience. I should use this sense of urgency instead of letting it bring me down because everything has not been done now. :)

To-do list:
Pick [info]aardnebby and cat treats up.
Apologize again for snapping at him this morning while he was driving to work.*
Translate 11-21 pages.
Proofread 11-21 pages.
Answer at least one job advert.
Start drafting emails for supervisor's contacts.

*Learning curves aren't perfect, and I need to work on a more effective way of explaining what he should be doing (or not). Part of the issue, I think, is that I'm still very much aware that it's all being done on the wrong side of the road! With a different highway code! So I'm less comfortable with it than I probably would be if we were living in France.


I wonder if there can be Too Much Cake.
There certainly was Enough at the Savoy today ^^.
Today was a day of One Meal. After a silly false start involving trains deciding not to run, enjoyed a splendid afternoon in company of amazing ladies. And Matt. *giggles*

I am now full. And my eyelids are heavy with makeup.
aardnebby: Hi sweetheart, just got home, how is Paris ?
[info]eniel: Ok, busy day, did X,Y, Z and got roped into doing W too next June...
[info]aardnebby: Really ? That's good, you must be relieved.
[info]eniel: Suppose so, but thing is...
[info]aardnebby (surprised): Oh, just won a Legendary Code for the Isengard update of Lord of the Rings Online!
[info]eniel: Huh? How? And Do I Get One ?
[info]aardnebby: Sorry love, it said "last chance", was a lottery, but meh, we already bought Heroic Codes. Guess I'll ring 'round to know who might want it...
[info]eniel: So? Can I have it anyways ? Please please please? So I get extra ponies to ride in game even though I can't ride more than one at a time and they're all the same, their tack is just different colors?
[info]aardnebby: Well, yeah, sure, but that's kind of a waste love, seeing as we entered our Heroic Codes so they can't be used again.
[info]eniel: .... We did ?
[info]aardnebby: You didn't? 
[info]eniel: .... I was supposed to ? When?
[info]aardnebby: They're pre-order codes! They expire! When were you going to tell me you hadn't entered the code?
[info]eniel: .... Sorry? I might have, but don't remember doing it. Was kind of busy planning a wedding, you know.
[info]aardnebby: Let me check. <silent typing> No, apparently, you didn't. Which is all your fault since I linked you the code when we bought the expansion.
[info]eniel: .... So I get the shiny one now yes?
[info]aardnebby: ....*sigh*. Yes, sure. You now have more cosmetic items than you have room for in your bags. I'm hanging up to call 'round to know who wants your old code.
eniel: I love you! And I love the ponies! *hands up and starts doing a happy-victory dance in her friend's apartment*
[info]aardnebby: *bangs head on table*