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Archive for March, 2006

Skype hype

So, after a long time, I chatted to my Welsh friend last night.  He urged me to download Skype so we could chat.  We could have years ago if he had a PC and the right Yahoo messenger.  But he has a Mac which he says he can’t use for voice on Yahoo messenger.  So, he says, get Skype.  I’ll wait while you download, he said.

I reluctantly went to the site but, as I’m on dialup (thanks to Telecom’s gross overpricing of broadband), it was taking a long long time.  By the time I was getting ready for bed it had downloaded 49%.  I stopped it.  I wanted to check up about it first.  I don’t like being told to download something without knowing as much as I can about it.

I have my doubts.  It’s developed by the same people who developed Kazaa – that infamous peer-to-peer network complete with spyware.  I don’t trust them.  I’ve read that just Skype, without the Kazaa stuff, doesn’t have spyware, but it can get through firewalls.  This somehow sets off alarm bells.  Added to that, it makes the computer slow, especially with dialup.  I can imagine all sorts of shit getting through and slowing my computer while using it.  No.  I don’t care if he wants to chat or not.  I’m not downloading it.  Now to disappoint him…

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Stuff for belly dancing

I’ve been unsuccessful in my search for items for a costume.  It seems amazing that I can’t find a suitable full skirt.  Of course I could make one but I don’t really have the time.  Belts and/or scarves are hard to come by as well (unless of course I want to pay the earth by ordering online).  Trademe is disappointing.  It seems to be a place where most people want to rip off the buyer – charging prices you’d expect for a new item in a retail store.

I went to Ezibuy yesterday because their catalogue seemed to have some nice stuff.  But I expected to be disappointed, as I always am by that store.  I wasn’t disappointed in that respect.  I was greeted by the usual boring range of clothes which seem suitable for middle-aged ladies.  I saw one suitable skirt but didn’t like the material.  Then I spotted a section of rather nice tops but they were all for extra-large women!  This was the same in Warehouse too!  Either NZ women have become extra large or the sizes do not reflect the usual NZ sizing.  I tried on a ‘medium’ top in Warehouse to find it far too small.  Obviously  made for small asians.  A friend mentioned 2 other stores.  One where she saw coin scarves and another where she bought a coin belt.  Neither of them had anything suitable.  The other problem is that they make clothes for tall women.  Skirts I did find were either too long (for a full length skirt from the hip on me) or too short.  *Sigh*. 

So, I came away empty-handed.  I hate shopping.

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Do NOT take erythromycin!

My daughter was prescribed this antibiotic for a lump which “may” become infected.  Within hours she had abdominal pain – which is listed as a ‘possible’ side effect.  However, according to patients on www.askapatient.com, most people taking it rated it 1/5 and recommended not taking it unless absolutely necessary.  Every single one of them suffered “severe abdominal pain”.  My daughter, in pain, asked if she could stop taking it.  I’m giving a resounding “yes!”.  The side effects are worse than the original complaint!  I dislike taking drugs at the best of times but certainly if the side effects are bad.  I’d rather let the body heal itself.

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My youngest daughter wants to leave school the minute she turns 16.  Alas, alack.  This goes against family tradition and expectations.  However, as daughter so rightly says – it’s her life, she HATES school, she knows what she wants to do and she’ll do it (and she’s bloody right – she will).  My only worry is that she won’t have the school qualifications needed to attend any tertiary institution.  But she’s found a school of design which will – so no worries there.  Her father will not be happy – not happy at all.  He will blame me.  It’ll be my fault bla de bla de bla.  Daughter says “fuck him”.  Ho hum.

Was getting stressed out yesterday at work with all that needed doing and coping with extra work due to a co-worker off sick and incompetence elsewhere.  I got really pissed off and could feel the onset of stress.  So, today is mental health day.  I’ve taken a ‘sickie’ and feel not one ounce of guilt.  I’m no use to anyone when I’m steaming in fury.  And if the sick co-worker is still off sick today – too bad.  They’ll have to cope.  I refuse to suffer when I get no thanks, no recognition, no acknowledgement and am expected to keep up the facade without complaint.  Piss off, is my attitude.

So a day relaxing (finally) with some mellow music, catching up on some washing, and browsing my latest website addiction Librarything.  I just started adding a few books and browsing what others had and  recommended, then finding myself adding a few more and the whole morning was gone!  By crikey.  Of course I’ve read far more books than I own and I don’t usually go out and buy books.  The library is my source of all reading these days.  They’ve got a ‘widget’ which displays random books from your library on your blog so I might have a go at that later.

I think the cat needs worming.  He’s driving me insane with his constant miaowing for food.

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Had a bit of ‘culture’ this weekend.

Friday night went out with the workmates to a Turkish restaurant.  Sat down at the back of the restaurant and had deja-vu.  The layout was exactly the same, including the bench seats, as the Turkish restaurant I went to with my brother in Aachen.  I felt a little disoriented.  Almost expected to see the same Turkish family gathered at the front of the restaurant.  Food was good.  I’d definitely go back there.

Then yesterday was PN’s ‘Festival of Cultures’ which I went to at two different times of the day.  Just after it opened we basically had a look at the stalls and had some food, then later in the day I watched some performances and stayed on til just after 8pm.  Some of the performances were good.  The kids doing Irish dancing, the Greek dances (although a little slow) and the Chinese and Cambodian dances (although the quality of the music during the Cambodian dances was awful).  The last Chinese performance was ‘weird’.  Some sort of modern choreography that made no sense.  They should have stuck with traditional which was much more elegant.  The performance put on by the Muslim society was just a group of children singing a song about peace.  I thought that was rather sad.  Did they feel so fearful of negative feedback that they stuck with a very short ‘safe’ option?  It’s so unfair.  Bush has a lot to fucking answer for.

The belly dancing was decidedly average.  The group was too big – 9 dancers, and the costumes didn’t show off the hips or belly much at all.  One very large woman in a pale top was quite offputting.  She should have had a top in a dark colour – the light colour just accentuated the bulge rather than hide it.  I focused, instead, on the obvious teacher of them all who had some nice movements.  I didn’t like the first dance which was a veil dance to a song by Sting.  The choreography was dull.  I saw a friend later who does belly dancing performances and asked her opinion.  She said it lacked energy.

Better to watch a DVD I found in the library – Serena Ramzy – she smiles all the way through and it’s a delight to watch her snaking midriff.  I think I’m slightly addicted to belly dancing right now.  I’ve been practising almost every night.  I think, since I’ve started classes, that I’ve lost some ‘weight’ around my hips.  Some pants I tried on last week were loose around the hips (and these were pants in my normal size range).  It’s the fat around the belly I want to get rid of.  Hoping I can tone the muscles.  The undulations and belly rolls (if I ever get the hang of them) should help.

Anyway, the festival – it was nice to be surrounded by people from all over the world – something we don’t see much of in isolated NZ.

Time to hang out some washing and do some vacuuming.

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Man shortage

Read an interesting article in the paper today.  Educated NZ women are staying single or settling for less – ie marrying someone with less education.  Such is the shortage of educated men in NZ.  I refuse to settle for less, hence my singleness.  Call me stubborn (and I am) but I don’t wish to settle for second best just for the sake of living with someone.  Most men I’ve been out with are less educated than I am and, to be frank, it gets boring.  There’s nothing in common, nothing much to talk about.  I’m not into sport at all so that eliminates 90% of NZ men right there.

Doomed to stay single, unless I move away from NZ.  Not a bad thought…

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Back already

Much sooner than I thought.  This was due mainly to older daughter having to work this morning at 10am and younger daughter wanting to come straight back home without detours (to her uncle’s) so she can catch up on homework!

Yes, well.  Been home 3 hours and she hasn’t done any homework.  Been practising guitar, at least.  But it gave me time to catch up on some reading, get some washing done, finalise the pickup of a washing machine I’d advertised on Trademe, etc.  Oh, and try to clean up some cat piss – what a ghastly smell to come home to.  Not sure if it was my cat as he could have got out the cat-flap to do his business outside which is what he normally does.  Ugh.

The ‘housewarming’ was a ‘party’ organised by daughters’ aunt.  So it was purely family gathering – the ex’s whole family just about, minus the ex thankfully.  He made excuses but probably didn’t turn up because I was there which is fine by me!  Very small apartment – basically just a hotel room with a couple of bedrooms, but enough for daughter I suppose and she can get a flatmate to cover the costs – either from a rich Asian student or a working person.  Apartments on the Terrace don’t come cheap.  Excellent location for workers or students anyway – walking distance to either central city or the uni.

Thankfully free parking in Wellington on the weekend (unlike dear old Palmerston North which still charges parking on Saturdays), so no problem finding a car park and the Clifton Tce carpark was open and free anyway, just around the corner.

So, daughter got given lots of pots and pans and bowls by aunts, grandmother and cousin.  Now she just needs a flatmate who loves cooking!

Would have liked to have visited bro on the way back – lovely weather all weekend.  But as youngest pointed out, it would take an extra three hours and more petrol and less time to catch up on stuff we need to catch up on.  She’s always quick with a logical reason to do what she wants – always puts things in a reasonable way.  Gets that from her father, no doubt.  It’s bloody hard to argue against because you sound unreasonable if you say no.

Back to work tomorrow….

Didn’t win Lotto again, needless to say.

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