Wednesday, March 31, 2004

After last night's Terrifying Hamster Disaster, there's only one thing I can think about. Fill-in-the-blanks.

I will need 7 nouns, at least one of which is a creature, and 7 adjectives.

Monday, March 29, 2004

The two skirts both fit into my purse. The sweater would have to wait under my car seat.

My sister's car was not in the front. That didn't mean that no one was home, though. It might be parked in the back. Or my sister might have driven off, leaving mom alone at home.

Inside TV noise trickled down the stairs.

"Are you home alone?" I yelled.


It was a good thing I left the pink sweater in the car. It was also good that my spacious purse could disguise the pink ruffle skirt and the yellow skirt with the pearls sewn into the hem. My mother threatened to cull my harvest of Value Village finds. She could never know about my latest batch.

During dinner, she took a phone call.

"Niki," I whispered, "There's something I have to show you. I went to Value Village today."

The skirt with the pearls was too good not to show off.

Niki gave me the highest praise: "You do find good stuff." She herself made a trip to Value Village today and left empty-handed.

This bolstered my courage. What is praise if it can't be multiplied? I had to show off to my mother.

"Get off the phone, get off the phone," I kept thinking. "Now" is how I like my compliments.

She hung up. I leaped before her, waving the skirt to end all skirts. "Isn't it a dream?"

She agreed it was. She oohed my sweater and aahed my ruffle skirt, as well. She promised not to destroy them as she did my black velvet jacket with the gold trim.

Monday, March 29, 2004

It was a race against time.

Must figure out how to attach scanner to computer since techie guy could not, then must dp the installation thing, then must read manual on how to scan.

The Bum Bum was ready to go. It was one of my other presents from Romania. On Saturday morning I could wait no longer, I unwrapped the Bum Bum and laid in bed, savouring each morsel.

Carefully, I smoothed out the wrapper. The time had come.

Then, I noticed this.

Frank beat me to writing about the exploding Bum Bums.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Answer to the Wednesday March 24 Psychology Test:

"She was hoping that the guy would appear at the funeral again. If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist that he used on people to see if they had the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly. If you didn't answer the question correctly good for you."

The famous American Psychologist is so famous he is only known as the American Psychologist. Since I am in the pay of He-whose-name-should-not-be-spoken, I am gleefully disposed to inform you that the psychopaths among you will be arrested tomorrow at dawn. Don't pack your bags. The gulag supplies everything.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Today you have a choice of three holidays to celebrate:

1. Armed Forces Day (Myanmar)
2. Evacuation Day (Angola)
3. Mount Arafat Day (Kuwait)

I think I'll go for Evacuation Day. What to wear?

(Thank you, Rabbit Girl.)

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Don't you hate it when the Black Obsidian Butterfly strikes fear into your heart?

Luckily, I am not a man.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I abdicate. Goodbye, Gemini. I'm gonna be a Taurus.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Also in the Buy and Sell: Gerry from Vancouver wants an adult teddy bear costume.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

There was a Buy and Sell on the kitchen table. "Let's see what pets are for sale," I thought to myself.

Lots of sugar gliders and guinea pigs. "Home and hetero" chinchillas. Hampsters and hamsters. A "beautiful blonde little male mouse." Mini Rex and Flemish Giant baby bunnies "all handled by daycare children." A hammock for ferrets. A hamster roadster and sky restaurant.

A farrot was for sale. Is it a ferret? A parrot? Or a Dr. Moreau hybrid?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Mona Lisa gets a makeover.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Wow! Transformer porn! Wish I had this when I was a teenager.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Can you read fast? Try this.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

SCAN ME! says: come on wheeler and dealer

Maktaaq says: you again!

SCAN ME! says: alright. fine

Maktaaq says: oh no, i've hurt your feelings

SCAN ME! says: no you didn't, i don't have any

Maktaaq says: you are an....android?

SCAN ME! says: partial, they call us cyborgs, or bastards.

Maktaaq says: i always thought there was a correlation between those two words

SCAN ME! says: i guess there is now

Maktaaq says: and i had made a point of avoiding bastards, will have to add cyborgs to the deal

Maktaaq says: you know, when I'm wheeling & dealing

SCAN ME! says: and looking back on your whelts and dealts

Maktaaq says: i can see the problem: cyborgs! should have avoided the bastards!

SCAN ME! says: beep..boo bee!

Maktaaq says: ?

SCAN ME! says: that's my robot speak

Maktaaq says: you are bar guy

SCAN ME! says: yes. to be confused with restaurant guy and pool guy

Maktaaq says: what? how many alter egos do you have?

SCAN ME! says: it's alright. i get people confused all the time

Maktaaq says: yeah, people should have some distinguishing features so we can tell them apart

Maktaaq says: I�m pretty easy to distinguish

Maktaaq says: mortician

Maktaaq says: bet you didn't know i was that talented

SCAN ME! says: i know a person that went to mortician school

Maktaaq says: i also carve those Dutch wooden shoes

SCAN ME! says: no way.. i do that

Maktaaq says: ok, i guess i am hardly unique

SCAN ME! says: i�m just joking

Maktaaq says: joking about it all or just the Dutch shoes?

SCAN ME! says: just the shoes

Maktaaq says: will get new distinguishing hobbies to impress blokes

SCAN ME! says: blokes�oh oh...colonist

Maktaaq says: no, i never explore colons

SCAN ME! says: lol�that's too bad�i thought you were a mortician

Maktaaq says: come on, there are ethics in the mortuary sciences as well

SCAN ME! says: what if it was a bad accident

Maktaaq says: and something was lodged up a corpse's ass? i believe the autopsy staff handles that

SCAN ME! says: the burial clothes couldn't fit right and you had to do some aggressive stapling and gluing

Maktaaq says: weeeeellllllll....

SCAN ME! says: are you really a mortician?

Maktaaq says: i moonlight as a mortician

SCAN ME! says: are you morticianing right now?

Maktaaq says: yes, i've got a combination mortuary-taxidermy project happening

SCAN ME! says: not a person

Maktaaq says: both

Maktaaq says: camel-human combination

SCAN ME! says: lol

Maktaaq says: the latest craze

SCAN ME! says: ahh those camans

Maktaaq says: like transgendered stuff, only for dead people

SCAN ME! says: i thought you said there were ethics

Maktaaq says: no sex with the corpses

Maktaaq says: otherwise we just go by the client's specification

SCAN ME! says: how can you resist the camans though

Maktaaq says: shhh

Maktaaq says: not so loud


Maktaaq says: hey you

Maktaaq says: you're gonna get me in trouble with the death authorities

SCAN ME! says: so

SCAN ME! says: you need to be exposed for what you are, caman toucher

Maktaaq says: no, please don't

SCAN ME! says: it's gonna cost you

Maktaaq says: name your price

SCAN ME! says: let me think about it

Maktaaq says: bastard

SCAN ME! says: i prefer cyborg

SCAN ME! says: oh it's raining out

SCAN ME! says: poo

Maktaaq says: yeah, you'll get rusty

SCAN ME! says: i'm the same Edward Gorey book as you..lol

Maktaaq says: uh oh

Maktaaq says: two sofas together

Maktaaq says: no good

SCAN ME! says: two curious sofas

SCAN ME! says: equal a room full of trouble

SCAN ME! says: and a fight to fit through the door

SCAN ME! says: oh and leave my cushions alone

Maktaaq says: then don't touch my ottoman

SCAN ME! says: darn you, you've got a play friend

Maktaaq says: yes, i'm a very outgoing sofa

SCAN ME! says: that's good to hear, someone to pick the dropped food and coins out of you

Maktaaq says: no, no one drops things on this sofa

SCAN ME! says: they should

SCAN ME! says: it'd be fun

SCAN ME! says: like popcorn and chips, in your cushion cracks

SCAN ME! says: makes me think of monkeys preening

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

--------- Original Message ---------
From: "Morbid Fact Du Jour!"

Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 5:53 AM

To: Among Others, Maktaaq

Subject: Morbid Fact Du Jour For March 23, 2004

Morbid Mirth Du Jour!

Bad Epileptic Joke Du Jour!

Colin offers up this one:

What do you call it when an epileptic falls in your lettuce patch?
Seizure Salad.

Attachment: more corpse pictures.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: Counselling Friend

Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 21:10

To: A Whole Load of People + Maktaaq

Subject: A one question psychology test

Try this one question test. Read this question, come up with an answer, and then wait for the answer.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met this guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing and believed him to be her dream. She fell in love with him right there and then, but did not ask for his number and no matter how hard she tried she could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: Raspberry

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 11:20 AM

To: Abe the Accounting Guy; Mrs. Project Manager; Scottish Account Manager; Database Guy; The Girl Kissed By Raspberry; That Marine Who Confuses People; Quiet Project Coordinator; Maktaaq; Some Office Guy

Subject: funny...

Importance: Low

Frank was excited about his new rifle and decided to try bear hunting. He spotted a small brown bear and shot it.

Right after, there was a tap on his shoulder and he turned around to see a big black bear. The black bear said, "That was my cousin and you've got two choices... Either I maul you to death or we have sex."

After considering briefly, Frank decided to accede to the latter alternative.

Even though he felt sore for two weeks, Frank soon recovered and vowed revenge. He headed out on another trip where he found the black bear and shot it.

Right after, there was another tap on his shoulder. This time a huge grizzly bear stood right next to him. The grizzly said, "That was a big mistake, Frank. That was my cousin and you've got two choices. Either I maul you to death or we have rough sex." Again, Frank thought it was better to cooperate.

Although he survived, it took several months before Frank finally recovered. Outraged, he headed back to the woods, managed to track down the grizzly and shot it.

He felt sweet revenge, but, then, there was tap on his shoulder. He turned around to find a giant polar bear standing there. The polar bear looked at him very sadly and said, "Admit it Frank, you don't come here for the hunting, do you?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Sister: Do you have any books by Russian writers?

Me: I have a copy of Chekhov's Three Sisters downstairs.

Sister: I don't feel like plays. Do you have any Gide?

Me: He's not Russian, he's French.

Sister: I no longer feel like Russian writers. I want a philosopher.

Me: There's Aristotle. There's also The Last Days of Socrates. That must be fun.

Sister: Ulai told me to avoid Sartre, Joyce, and Kafka.

Me: I hate Kafka. I did slog through Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Started Ulysses. Here, try Simone de Beauvoir's Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter.

In the end, tonight's bedtime reading was that diary of the French prostitute who married the Romanian arsitocrat. Me? Either The Food of Japan or some travel disaster article.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Ohta Higashi Elementary School asked me to teach the grade one children some jokes in English.

These kids could hardly piece together "Hello" in English.

One day when I figure out the scanner, you'll see the corresponding pictures. For now, here are the chosen jokes:

1. How do you know if there is an elephant under your bed?
Your nose touches the ceiling.

2. How do you know there is an elephant in the fridge?
You can't close the door.

3. Why do gorillas have big nostrils?
Because they have big fingers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Since there was so much fugu activity in the Mental Office Girl's blog, my own experiences with the deadly fugu are re-materializing.

In Kumagaya, the biggest city in Saitama Prefecture's northern half, there is a fugu restaurant far from the yakuza joints. It is in the quiet part of Kumagaya. (Remember where we used to cycle around, Beth? That's the place.)

The menu suggested fugu cooked - or not - in every style.

Glancing at the tables of other diners, it was evident that liver and ovary were the coveted body parts. Poor fugus, thought I, dying merely to be gutted. If you must die, little fugu, I could at least ensure your death was not in vain - the rest of your charming self could be reincarnated.

So I ordered fugu lips.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

There are so many things for which I am thankful today:

Today's lunch contained three liquor-filled chocolates. One was a Pina Colada, another was a Manhattan. I saved the Banana Daquiri for last. Thanks mom, for helping me booze it up at work.

I am crossing missile hit off my list of desired deaths. Thank you Morbid Fact du Jour for making my lunch that much more palpable.

Thank you to the woman in the truck with the Real Women Drive Trucks bumper sticker for smiling at me. But not so thank you to the bulb-nosed fellow in the van for staring at me so intently at that red light. Turn that frown upside-down, sir!

And thank you to the people of Papua New Guinea for the lovely pig. My village shall feast on it for many generations.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I liked the Mantis logo. I wanted to have a better look at it.

The Mantis Promise: NO RISK. Thus armed with the security of Mantis Promise, I ventured farther in.

Why We're Better it said. I wanted to know why Mantis was better. Over and over it said MANTIS IS THE BEST. Over and over and over. I fell into the pace; I began myself to repeat the mantis mantra. Mantis is the best, Mantis is the best, Mantis is the best...

Sleepwalking into the Mantis ordering page, I threw a languid glance at the bottom. The Mantis demanded of me: SUBMIT TO MANTIS.

I reached for the mouse. One easy click and I would submit to the Mantis.

A tiny voice screams "Nooooooo!" I recoil!

The Mantis, disappointed at the loss of its prey, reassembles itself into a motionless website ready to pounce again.

(languid + pounce = 2 points for me.)

Monday, March 22, 2004

I've hurt the Microsoft Word Paperclip's feelings.

"You've turned me off many times. Do you want to turn me off permanently?" it asked. The smile on its face masked inner turmoil.

"No," I replied, sheepishly, "I just want you turned off now."

Monday, March 22, 2004

I don't know how this appeared on my computer, but for a moment I thought I saw my name there. Well, it is there, if you subtract the other letters. (My real name, for those of you who know it.)

Don't you hate it when you lose yourself?

Years ago, I took a picture of a very distant cousin. Two months later I developed that roll of film. When I came to my cousin's photo I thought for a long, long time, "Is that my cousin? Or is that me?"

My family is so inbred that the cousins from across the village, despite the addition of foreign matter to our redundant gene pool, all look like me. Indistinguishable are we.

Then there is M. I am always mistaken for M. from Ottawa. Whoever M. is, I look so much like this person, that at one point, two random people on the street, in different parts of Vancouver on the same day, approached me. "M., long time no see!" There were other cases of M.'s and my existences colliding.

My middle name is also M. Whenever someone mistook me for M., I thought, "This person must know me. But why are they using my middle name? I never go by that." After a few minutes of explanations, I would get: "So you are not M. from Ottawa?"

M. must be another cousin from a neighbouring village in the Transylvanian homeland.

Don't take me for a complainer. There are benefits to the generic look. I could be a model. I could mastermind crimes so that M. from Ottawa suffers the consequences. I could blend in with the curtains during botched diamond heists - while the police handcuff my cohorts I slip quietly out of the museum. Working with my cousin, we could amaze onlookers with my ability to be in two places at once. Not to mention the applications for a kleptoparasitic lifestyle.

Still, I envy unique individuals. Every glance at a mirror proves that they are still themselves. In group shots, they can immediately locate themselves. There is no danger of being arrested for shoplifting when it was really your evil cousin who made off with all those bottles of Celine Dion perfume. Nor do people at potluck dinners stop you from filling your plate "because you've already had enough."

Alas, I am doomed to matching the living room set. Instead of a jaunty plaid to upset the polka dots, I dissolve into a replica of the wallpaper pattern. Dang it.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Joke time (courtesy of my grandmother):

A peddler owed a lot of money to a man in a distant village that he visited once a year. When he got to this man's house, the peddler begged for more time to repay his debts. He complained how he sold few of wares and that he didn't even know how to feed his own family.

The man said to the peddler, "But you have two wonderful daughters - take them to the market."

The peddler went away. When he returned a year later, he plunked down a bag of gold on the man's table: "This is the money I owe you." Then he plunked down another bag. "This is the interest on the debt."

Incredulous, the man asked for the secret to the peddler's success.

"Simple," replied the peddler, "I took your advice last year. Now my daughters are so busy, on Saturdays and Sundays my wife has to help out!"

Sunday, March 21, 2004

One of Anisoara's friends on Friendster, the Siberian Sticky Hamster, passed away. Despite the loss of Sticky, her hamster coalition still outnumbers my set of friends.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

This has been a good week for presents. There were so many, their individuality has all melted into a collective memory. Some presents are slightly more memorable than others, for the mere reason that they have been handled more than once.

Take the box of German chocolates. They looked like almond chunks encased in a waxy coating of chocolate. One is always tempted to bite half of each one, to discover each flavour. Yet, in biting into one of these German chocolates a stream of rum shoots out. The result is a sticky, sweet mess on the carpet.

Then there is the 825 gram jar of German Nutella. One spoonful does not contain enough to determine the exact ingredients that distinguish it from the Australian Nutella. Once the researcher pinpoints the dissimilarity, the next step is to measure the correspondences between the German and Polish varieties. An average of 76 teaspoons will isolate the genome.

Finally there is the Old Navy hoodie. Having started life as the garment responsible for keeping travellers warm in the cold of the Ethiopian highlands, it adapted to a placid career as Romanian winter garb. Relegated to a fellow traveller and its existence forgotten, it has returned, as a rag covered in holy water stains.

The other presents clamour for attention. Envious of the above three, they threaten a coup unless their demands are met. The author, cornered, gives in. The box of Moldovan chocolates and the four packages of Viennese hazelnut wafers rejoice.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Someone knocks on the door, the baby cries, rain soaks your wet laundry, the phone rings; in the background water is about to run over the rim of the bath tub. These five situations represent the important things in life:

a. Baby = family

b. Bath water = health

c. Visitor at the door = social life

d. Telephone = career

e. Laundry = sex

The order in which you placed them is their order of importance in your life.

Obviously the correct order was to open the door, buy the pelican from the peddler, spoonfeed pureed zucchini to the baby, plug the running tap with the laundry and then answer the phone.

Tina/Anonymous Person: your order informs us that you make up words when you play Scrabble.

Jen: it is obvious that sea anemone are allergic to you. As a licensed professional, I will refrain from passing judgment on your lack of maternal skills.

Charles: your cabalistic answers indicate that you were a Napoleonic standard-bearer.

Raspberry: if a cliff swallow builds a nest on the side of your house, do not use a broom to defend yourself.

Frank: it is alright. Unless you plan on photographing origami kitchen utensils. Then I would suggest changing the order of your priorities. Tend to the phone (a grasshopper might be calling) before turning off the door.

M: you cannot wear anything else. This order depicts an individual who would rather decontaminate teapots than prance about in pantaloons. Your laundry consists entirely of pantaloons.

Yolanda: Baby, tub, door, laundry, phone? Darling, your priorities have changed. Welcome to the real world - a world of upset marmots and dancing blacksmiths.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

And, before I go to the bed of doom, put these things (all happening simultaneously) in the order which you would do first:

a. Comfort crying baby.

b. Turn off water before it pours over the edge of the tub.

c. Answer the door.

d. Answer the phone.

e. Run out and take in your laundry. It is raining.

Then I'll impress you with my psychological interpretations.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Who answers email any more?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Frozen Waffle Jen and I recalled the days of our slavery in the frozen chambers of Yellow Pages. The wit of those halcyon August afternoons - all gone!

Where are you, August 2003?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Maybe it's because I am too far beyond my teenage years. I thought, yeah, it would be nice to go to bed and have a good creepy nightmare. I thought Freddie Krueger would appreciate a fresh sacrifice. Yes, it would have been nice to be sucked up by my bed, just like Johnny Depp, and to re-emerge as a geyser.

Tonight I play a trick on fate: I will finally sleep in the bed I bought a year ago. In the room without a lock on the door. At the foot of the stairs. Behind the very door where the spectre pauses during his nightly haunts.

Will I emerge unscathed in the morning? Will I be left a babbling lunatic after my brush with the image of lingering death? Will I suddenly utter prophetic sonnets about marmots and pinatas?

I hope so. I'd like to join the other people who allowed the Body Snatchers to invade.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Reid gave me a cookie tonight. The cookie, he explained, was to make up for "being a grouch" (direct quote).

I knew I wasn't imagining it.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

curious sofa
The Curious Sofa - You are quite sensual and love a
good romp in every sense of the word! People
are drawn to you and always want you to sit in
their laps!

Which Edward Gorey Book Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

You know, it's true. People are always wanting to entice me to their laps. On the days that I don't wear my bristle-brush underwear, they like it even better.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Being sucked dry by leeches isn't so bad.
You will be sucked dry by a leech. I'd stay away
from swimming holes, and stick to good old
cement. Even if it does hurt like hell when
your toe scrapes the bottom.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Tuesday nights are night class nights. Usually the time for the discussion about the flamboyant gypsy violinist.

Instead, tonight, thoughts of this

(Merci beaucoup: Port Royal Trading Company.)

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I almost forgot. I walked twice past a comic book store last night. The first time I didn't stop. But the second time, I looked carefully at all the action figures in the window.


There was a Krazy Kat doll and an Ignatz doll.

So now I am bound to purchasing them, along with that Krazy Kat tin box beside them.

I thought Krazy Kat was a death knell for companies dabbling in anything Krazy. I was thankful that I didn't have to become an obsessive collector like those Star Wars freaks. I could continue living my life as a normal human being. I didn't have to clear out my kitchen cupboards to display my collection because there was nothing to collect. I didn't have to learn Klingon or paste alien prosthetics to my forehead. There were no clubs to join where annoying idiots knew more about Krazy and/or medieval folklore than I did.

All that I had of Krazy was a 1987 calendar, the closest thing to a definitive Krazy Kat book, the Krazy Kat postcard book and a copy of archy & mehitabel (not by the Master but illustrated by Him).

Recently I bought the two-disc 1960s Krazy Kat DVDs. Despite my lack of DVD player (which you-know-who got custody of), I justified that purchase by telling myself that the next time there will ever be any Krazy Kat merchandise on the market my yellow fever vaccinination will have expired.

Some company marketing Krazy merchandise has thrown my placid life askew. With the singleminded purpose of a faulty android, I must collect.

I want to say "Damn you, Krazy!" but you know I can't. I love you too much.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

It's been a pretty nice weekend.

Friday = expensive movie + cheap tacos + death-defying chocolate cake + aghast reaction to movie.

Saturday = long distance long chat + hot dinner + Stone & Sea + bagpipes + lead legs.

Sunday = pig purse + mint chocolate doughnut + sudden invitation making it all better + sour raspberry martini.

Despite the anti-climatic outcome of my first date since January, even organizing documents in anticipation of tax fun felt joyous thanks to Barachois. Plus weird Indian music hour came on as I was driving. Any weekend combining that and bagpipes is a dream weekend.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

For Sale: Superhuman Power

Must sell immediately: ability to become invisible. Useful at parties, bars, and with telemarketers. $1 obo. Please contact Maktaaq at maktaaq@hotmail.com.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I think I am a very nice person. Probably nicer than most.

When social injustice took place (quite a few times), other people looked the other way. Most people just don't want to get involved. Not me. I jump in to save the oppressed party. I tried to save a mentally retarded girl from some sort of scary incident. I once stopped some teenagers from punching an obese classmate. I came between a wife-beater and his wife. Disregarding my own life, I even once told some bullying thugs to shut up.

Then the aggressor turned their full hating attention to me. Probably why most people don't want to get involved. I've been even hit a few times sticking up for the oppressed. They later told me one of the thugs had murdered before.

Now that you have my nice person credentials, forgive me when I tell you that I laughed at this:

What do you do if an epileptic has a fit in the tub?

Throw in your laundry!

Thank you, Morbid Read du Jour.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Inna (my French roommate's sister) and I once decided to read The Hot Zone together. We both had read it once the week before. We wanted to read it again. Ebola is neat. Of course, it's scary, too, but it is so morbidly gross one can't help but be attracted to it. But our urge to read it struck at the exact same time. We only had one copy. So we had to sit together and read it.

Reading from the same book at the same time requires that both parties read at the same speed or that one reader slows down. Nothing is worse than coming to the end of a page, dangling on a the werewolf, its teeth dripping with blood-flecked saliva, stood over the cowering nun and... And what?!!!

While one waits for the other reader to catch up, there are a few acitivities to while the time. One could reread the two opened pages, concentrating on the words skipped in the mad rush to find out if the werewolf got through the convent doors. Overlooked details take the stage. The werewolf is wearing rags that resemble the itinerant apple picker's overalls! A clue to the werewolf's identity! The nun's too-large wimple alludes to her impending bee sting! Foreshadowing!

One could also watch the expression on the other reader's face. The horror is evident as she discovers that the Japanese paper doors the convent added to attract maidens seeking a more zen-like Catholic experience are no match for the superhuman strength of the werewolf. The mild relief when the werewolf gets a papercut, followed by the crescendo of terror as the werewolf bandages its paw. The slower reader's face contorts back and forth through these emotions.

When the slow reader finally turns the page, the faster reader has to recall the aniticipation felt on the previous page. The wasted seconds provide an opportunity for the slower reader to gain a few words. With the slower reader ahead, the faster reader can hope to reach the end of the second page at roughly the same time. Sometimes, when both readers reach the nun's bodice hung only by an unraveling stitch, the page can be immediately turned. More often, however, the faster reader misjudges the slower reader's pace. The faster reader hurries to catch up and consequently overtakes the slower reader again.

This invariably disappoints when, on the next page, we find that the scene cuts from the half-naked nun in the clutches of the beast to Mother Superior calculating the convent's laundry expenses for a whole chapter, wholly unaware of the profanity occurring in the adjoining cell.

The one benefit of reading boring chapters together is that the slower reader will remember to scrub the bathroom tiles. This leaves the faster reader in sole possession of the book.

Once the slower reader returns, the faster reader is already at the aftermath of the nun's werewolf ordeal. As the two readers are now in different parts of the book, a wall separates their positions in the book. The slower reader leans over to the left to read her section, and the faster reader leans to the right to get in all the words on the vertical tuft of pages. Obviously Japanese and traditional Chinese novels reverse these positions. Once this wall separates the two readers, the faster reader can read at an unchecked speed. The drawback is that the faster reader must muzzle his mouth after a satisfying conclusion.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

A year ago on this day I arrived in Budapest. My first task was to collect some Hungarian dirt for Cosmin, my best friend in Romania.

For months I told Cosmin how wonderful Hungary was. I explained that Budapest - alongside a Paris doused in sticky strawberry-flavoured bubbles, phallic Bologna, the Madrid that served me my first gazpacho, the Barcelona of small rodent petshops, buzzing-wasp Taipei, Manila of the overcrowded jeepneys and two-hour pig roasts, and overly-hushed Vienna - was one of the great cities of the world.

My parents even offered to take me and Cosmin on an all-expenses paid trip to Budapest. Just as much as me, my parents feel that anything worthwhile should be shared. Taking Cosmin to see the centre of the world would make him an insider in the Been To Budapest Club. If nothing else, surely Cosmin, a chef, could appreciate one of the finest cuisines in the world. All Cosmin had to do was to apply for his passport.

Cosmin diddled and dawdled and spent his money on cigarettes instead.

A few hours after arriving in Budapest, I flew off to Helsinki.

Cosmin wanted Finnish dirt as well. To fulfill his wishes, I spent the layover examining the terrain for a worthy specimen. Then, so as to distinguish the Hungarian and Finnish soil samples, I labelled each bag with the city, date and time.

Still hours later (this was the second of my global circumnavigations - ha! Magellan!) I was in Tokyo. Tokyo dirt is pretty easy to come by. But Gyoda's Sakitama dirt is special. Gyoda, 60 km north of Tokyo on the sometimes sweltering, sometimes blustery Kumagaya plain, boasts of thirteen ancient burial mounds. Two-thousand-year-old kings lie under the mounds. Most of the mounds are round, while a couple are keyhole-shaped. JJ called them Japanese pyramids.

Through soil movement of the last two thousand years, decayed bits of ancient kings have diluted into the entire city's dirt. For especially concentrated dirt, I went to the epicentre of decayed Japanese royalty: Sakitama Old Mound Park. I filled another bag for Cosmin.

The bags of Hungarian, Finnish and Japanese dirt returned to Romania. Cosmin, who claims he will never be wealthy enough to travel outside of the country, vowed that these three bags would be foundation of his global soil collection. His grandiose plans require wandering friends to cooperate. Eventually he hopes to fill a shelf with bottled dirt from all over the world. One day, when his coffin lies at the bottom of a deep hole, we, the friends of Cosmin, will empty each bottle on him. That way Cosmin can console his supernatural self for not having travelled in life.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

How different this is from my childhood!

In grade three I had finally read my first novel (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) when my dad declared that he would be choosing my reading material from then on. First up, Great Expectations (abridged), followed by Robinson Crusoe (abridged), Moby Dick (unabridged), Tom Sawyer (unabridged and the impetus of a childhood crush), and others. Every day he would ask me what happened in the book to the part I read that day.

There was no way to fool him. I wanted so much for that creepy old woman in her wedding dress to excavate earthworms or jump out of her stale wedding cake. All those cobwebs scared me. My summary of the story had to reflect Dickens' words because my father had already read this book and others when he was just slightly older than me.

His books were handwritten copies secretly passed from reader to reader, out of authority's sight.

Once I could read, it was my duty to him to justify all the risks he took in escaping from Romania.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

As some of you know, a lightbulb company employs me and a random number of monkeys to type up Hamlet. We punch in every morning at 8:30 AM sharp, sip on some tea while exchanging pleasantries with the engineering baboons, log in to our computers and open the special Shakespeare database that records our daily progress.

Attached to each computer is the lightbulb we test. They don't provide manuscripts of Hamlet. Whenever we type a word in the correct direction (even a or I will do), the lightbulb lights up.

Unless it is a dud, in which case it is sent back to the factory to be stomped on by elephants.

I have a slight advantage over the monkeys because:

a. I read Hamlet in high school.

b. I watched the Mel Gibson Hamlet.

c. I attended a five-hour French performance of Hamlet at the Comédie Française.

d. I watched Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.

e. I own a copy of Hamlet Coles Notes.

All this might seem unethical, but remember that "thought does not become a young woman." I assure you that I do not think at all while I am at work and therefore pose no risk whatsoever to the future efficiency of lightbulbs.

The monkeys, depending on which continent they call home, like to use fancy words such as morxiousness, happuity, viffinotion, and waquinapping. South American monkeys particularly like pobbingtonutional.

As I try to avoid thought - after all not a qualification for the position - I steer towards words like ligangulatoratory and frapazmastic.

Our plot devices generally emphasise the highlights of the Wittenburg Hamlet. Other lightbulb factories use the Krakow version or even the disputed Genovese Hamlet. Most Shakespearean scholars agree that Polonius only thrust the spoon into the pudding before the big sword fight, not after. Our factory therefore firmly upholds the Wittenburg Hamlet.

This week 27 of the lightbulbs I tested went to the elephant room while 2985 lightbulbs went on to a long shelf life in far-flung lightbulb specialty shops of the empire. I am not the most prolific lightbulb tester in the factory. Yet my retelling of Hamlet passes enough lightbulbs that the factory allows me to return day after day. And my meagre earnings do go a long way toward realizing my dream of purchasing a pencil.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I would like to see some American (or Canadian) fending off a vampire attack with instructions written in Romanian.

Recently my dad shamefully told me that villagers somewhere in Romania dug up a suspected vampire corpse and divvied up the heart into some protein snacks.

One person's proof of backward superstition is someone else's local charm.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

There was definitely cross contamination of Pickton Farm meat. CBC Radio said, though, that "there is no evidence that anyone was harmed" in eating the meat.

Speaking of cannibalism, I can't wait to read about the Essex.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

We knew to fart in Mandarin. It's fangpi.

He knew unforgettable.

He became un-fangpi-dable.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A sign at the Granville Island Market:

I am a 60 year old white man.

I would lick a slim Asian woman.

Tel: 604-XXX-XXXX

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Compliment of the day:

"You are really good at picking out fruit jams."

Beth's example was a lemon curd of a few years ago. But it was Beth who bought the jar. I adopted it after she banished it for being disgusting.

What I admire Beth for is a talent of a well-ventilated nature.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Switching between languages rarely confuses me. Even in my dreams I speak Chinese to JJ, English to bystanders, and Romanian to my parents.

Recently, however, there are two words that always stumble on the way out of my mouth. In English this word is tie, as in to tie up; in Romanian it is tai, as in to cut. They sound exactly the same. But misunderstood, they would unleash dire consequences.

The problem occurs on the English side of things. I always talk about tying up my hair. In person, if you ever wondered, my conversations centre exclusively around my hair. About what shade of maroon I want to try next time, if rat-tail streaks would complement my skin colour, whether I should shave my crown or whether Bride of Frankenstein is back in style. Barrettes, too, occupy a large part of my daily speech, as do banana clips, hairpins, hair gels, anti-frizz serums, shampoos, conditioners, mullets, egg yolk potions and combs.

Just like Samson, all my strength is in my hair. My hair has brought me unaccountable riches and occasional fame in cat fancier circles.

And just like Samson and Rapunzel, if I were to lose my flowing locks, disaster shall befall me.

Therefore I have become rather wary of mentioning the word tie. Whenever I say that I am about to tie up my hair, I get perplexed. For a moment, I forget if tie means to cut in Romanian or English. Am I saying I want to tie up my hair or am I saying I want to cut up my hair.

I worry that if whoever is listening thinks I mean the Romanian tai, they might think I am in need of a haircut. I also worry if they are deranged lunatics surreptitiously wielding shears - these are the sorts of people to use a minor vocabulary mix-up to their advantage - that they might attempt to give me a haircut.

Monday, March 08, 2004

A confused visitor, looking for relatives of cat hoarders, must have been a little puzzled at the description of my site: "...Aside from a free cat, some one-year-old canaries and...Animal hoarders are loathsome..."

Web surfers continue to stumble on my site from odd parts of the ether. Below are all of the searches leading to Maktaaq in a one-week period.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Let's rewrite history to make it more jolly. The original bits are in bold.

"The country is in my hands!" Philippe announced on Radio Signal FM. He had ripped out Haiti's outline from the Princess Cruises route map. Crushed, Haiti then went into the recycling bin. (Jolly factor: recycling will save the planet.)

"Arrest Neptune!" the crowd chanted. The Roman God of the Sea had dallied with one Nereide too many. (Jolly factor: when the masses get involved, we can put a stop to sexual harrassment.)

Execution-style killings continued in the fetid seaside capital. Finally someone sprayed a whole can of air freshener in the seaside capital. No longer fetid, the seaside capital now entices tourists with a strawberry and pine fragrance. (Jolly factor: one person taking the initiative will jumpstart the tourist industry again.)

Asked if he would disarm if ordered, he said "We will." He then removed both of his arms and slapped them on the table. (Jolly factor: amputees commit fewer homicides.)

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I guess I am the only person disturbed by the flag at the beginning of this ad. Maybe people are forgetting what it meant.

Having lived for five years in China, Taiwan and Japan, I met many people for whom that flag meant something much akin to the Nazi swastika. When I lived in China in 1989, Hirohito died. My host grandfather became very quiet for a few days. I asked him if he was sad that the Emperor of Japan died. (I was only fourteen and knew nothing of history.) Mr. Hou shook his head. It was hard to grasp how all this outpouring of international sympathy was meant for someone on par with the Nazis.

My Taiwanese grandmother, when I told her I was off to Japan to marry my sweetheart, warned me that the Japanese are very bad people. She said not to trust pink kittens and bubbly voices.

JJ once brought a stack of those headbands with the glaring sun to Taiwan following an election in Japan. Niki and I lived out our fantasies of becoming the Karate Kid. But when JJ gave them out to his classmates, the elderly teacher screamed at them to take off their headbands or else she wouldn't teach them.

Aesthetically, I had to admit to JJ that the Nationalist Japanese flag is pretty. But so is the swastika.* However, their meanings have been perverted. I explained that, even though the swastika once meant something very different (Empress Alexandra of Russia even decorated her palace with them), no white person can display a swastika these days without certain connotations attached.

*The swastika is also representative of the sun.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I just looked and I got a comment from the wonderful Mental Office Girl Who Cooks. She suggested I re-fashion the story of Zeus and the Titans to star hamsters. Beth also liked my idea of sea-faring hamsters, adrift in the Atlantic in walnut boats, amidst all those Irish witches in their eggshells. Hmm, wait! They will be pirate hamsters! Too bad I lost all the notes I took during my elementary school pirate infatuation. Oh rats, I guess I have to make another trip to the library.

All this talk of hamsters, now let me tell you what Anisoara did last night. (Or, "The Exciting Friday Nights of a Young Lady and Her Perilous Hamster.")

Again, I decided that Anisoara should taste unbridled freedom, unencumbered by the hamster ball. So I let her have free reign of the hamster-proof bathroom while I again completed my nightly toilette.

Again she wanted to clamber up my legs. This time, my pyjama pant legs proved more conducive to hamster-climbing. But she tickled my ankles. So badly were my ankles tickled, I nearly fell over. At one point, she got as far as mid-shin, lost her grip, flipped over backwards, and screamed a hamster squeak before she hit the bathroom floor cushion. Most hamster scholars claim that hamsters are silent creatures. Anisoara is the delightful exception.

When I leaned down to pick her up, she ran up my arm and onto my back. Hamster massages tickle too! Plus, a hamster walking on one's back feels the same as a tarantula walking on one's arm.

This morning, Anisoara was curled in her nest of newspaper and tissue like a little maggot.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Interview with the Blushing Turkey.

Maktaaq: How many times have you been shot at?

Blushing Turkey: On the way to this coffee shop, only five times. Of course, getting out of my car in the parking lot, some monster truck almost ran me over.

Maktaaq: Do you ever feel hated?

Blushing Turkey: Well, Maktaaq, I know rednecks love to caress my taxidermied friends that are hanging on their walls in rigor mortis flight. Obviously someone would love to have me motionless on their dinner table. Yet, despite the closeness between some rednecks and their dead turkey pets, I still feel unloved. It's as if white trash only loves me for my feathers.

Maktaaq: Would you say your self-esteem is at an all-time low?

Blushing Turkey: Definitely. Ever since that bushy-faced guy was hunted down in that Middle Eastern country, I have been thinking, "If even a human has no chance, what about a lightweight species like me?" Recently I have even lost interest in my girlfriend Esmeralda.

Maktaaq: That's bad. For our non-Anglo-Saxon-gun-carrying readers, can you tell us a little about those fill-in-the-blanks at the bottom of your picture?

Blushing Turkey: Yeah, rednecks record the time, the rifle used, ammunition, and whether or not they scored afterwards with their sisters. Yards refers to how many backyards they had to shoot through. The Choke space is for detailing the costume jewellry worn during target practice. A lot of rednecks keep these in scrapbooks.

Maktaaq: Do you have any hopes for the future?

Blushing Turkey: I want a new career. I signed up for a certificate program in massage therapy, so maybe rednecks will stop shooting me when I am a certified massage therapist.

Maktaaq: Good luck, Blushing Turkey, and thanks for your time.

Blushing Turkey: Thanks.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Friday, March 05, 2004

Adjectives are making a comeback. I guess I should apologise, Justin.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Beth had me laughing for almost three hours on the phone.

About Prehistoric Dogs. Heck I love the Prehistoric Dogs so much, I am putting a link to them under Etc.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Last night I looked around my bathroom. Hmm, I thought, this place is hamster-proof. Anisoara was willing to test it out. She ran around, a free and unfettered hamster.* I made sure my feet never moved while I completed my nightly toilette.

Perhaps the bathroom is too hamster-proof. Maybe there is nothing fun for a hamster to gnaw. Anisoara spent the rest of her time trying to climb up my legs. Then we played. I shuffled backwards and she ran after me. I moved around in circles and she followed me wherever I went.

Ah, the touching adventures of a young lady and her hamster.

A coworker asked me how many hamsters I have. I had to explain that hamsters are solitary creatures that viciously attack outsiders. She asked me how they mate. The answer is, they have a five-second timeout on the violence. Afterwards, papa hamster will eat his own children if mama hamster does not repel him.

When I was eight years old, my sister and I thought that the father should have visitations rights. We removed mama hamster fom her cage and, despite her frenzied objections, we introduced Jack to his children.

What kind of father systematically picks up his own children and bites their heads?

We were horrified! Afterwards we always watched for praying mantis behaviour in our dad.

The hamsterlings all perished. And the next day they all disappeared. According to hamster scholars, mama hamster recycled them into her dinner. Mama hamsters obviously respond to some primitive maternal instinct: if she eats her dead children, they might have a chance to re-form and be born again.

Alas, our mama hamster died shortly. Of a broken heart, we assume.

*Very fast for a blonde fluff-ball.

Friday, March 05, 2004

In the latest dream, Anisoara got all wet. A huge patch of her fur fell off. She lay dying.

When I woke up, I went to her cage. She was wide awake. Her seed-encrusted banana dinner lay nearby. Her coat was intact.

I hate nightmares.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

A little envelope on the bottom part of my computer screen means an email. Work emails are usually utilitarian. They don't waste words. Even the sentences sometimes suspend the laws of grammar, leaping directly to the verb. There is no self in work emails.

Finished the Twinky-Dink Project.

Am printing out the Mortimer Mouse Files now.

Faxed the squirrels to the Manager and shaved the Vice President's chinchilla.

Once in a while you get emails that you know are not work-related.

Raspberry sent me the lyrics to a song. We shared a few words in the coffee room. The lyrics were a footnote to her side of the conversation.

Today Raspberry was not in. It could have been anything. A meeting. Too much drinking. Fun. Instead her absence was a result of something terrible.

The lyrics. Something about an attention-seeker. After our conversation I still didn't think so. Maybe on one level, but different from contestants on reality TV.

No more visits from Miss Behind Anonymity. Her page turned white.* Karen says I am too far to do anything.

This plus everything made me rather down this morning. I was thrice told I am stupid.** A few hours after the second time, I became curiously happy. Ignorance does have its charms. By the third time I was practically whistling. I may have even bristled back.

Then another little envelope popped onto the bottom part of that grey thingie on the screen, very close to the clock part. An email from an Ion. No, not one of those atom bits. The Romanian version of the name John.

He came to visit after work.

The unison of the North and South offices into one building between a river and a woman's prison has brought me into the sphere of another Romanian.

Zs followed Bs (like raspberry but more like Zbor) or followed by Gs (Zgircit) and Ds (Zdrobit). S-and-F words like sfirsit. Ss with dangling tails and Ts with roots. As with roofs over their heads and horny As.

Speaking Romanian is like squirming your toes in clean warm mud.

The same words, if I said them in English, would be pancakes drying without syrup. Day after day of eating bland pancakes, a pioneer bachelor in the 1920s told his companions, "I've had enough." He walked out of the cabin, never to be seen again. It's been nearly a year of pancakes. Then - suddenly! - an infusion of aromatic honey!

Speaking Romanian, after a year in the desert of pancakes, is like squirming your toes in a mixture of warm mud and honey. Pick up a fistful of that mud-honey mixture and squeeze it. The stuff pouring through the cracks of your fingers is more Romanian.

Every English word afterward was a pancake hardened into a cement biscuit.

*In Chinese culture, the colour of death.

**Ok, I exaggerate. It was insinuated.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Many years ago, Karen, a pianist, said that musicians are only as good as their last performance.

I repeated her words today. Karen was incredulous: "I said that?"

She wants to use that "musicians are only as good as their last performance" phrase more often.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Here is Alba County.

Here is Alab Iulia.

If JJ ever gives me back my binoculars, I can peep into the Hotel Cetate.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Last night, two teenage girls passed me on the street. One of them made kissy noises. I looked around. I was the only other person around. The girls laughed.

Must be my Tom Cruise good looks.

He said: You look like Tom Cruise? What movie?
I said: I could always pick up women.
He said: You're confusing the hell outta me.

Luckily I am not all superficial good looks.

My first date with an obese 21-year-old construction worker:

He takes me to an internet cafe. He pays. He buys me a coke. It's chat time.

"With your English I can flirt with girls all over the world." (He said.)

He dictates his opening lines. I translate and type. We pick up a woman in Manila, one in Sibiu and one in Cugir.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Various encounters with the law:

Age 14: Chalk + Chinese poetry + sidewalk = mistaken for the Chinese mafia.

Results: The head of the City of Burnaby Police Department Anti-Gang Section leaped out of his chair at breakfast after a phonecall. His son was on the witness protection program. A crowd gathers. My mother phones me. I apologise for writing Tang Dynasty poetry on the sidewalk. The case is closed.

Age 15: Bizarre letter + Dr. Livingstone = mistaken for kidnapper.

Results: The worried mother calls the police. I explain that my sister wanted me to write a joke letter to her friend. I pretended I was Dr. Livingstone and wrote about travelling through the bowels of Africa. I invited Stanley to my jungle abode. I apologise to mother and police.

Age 21: Suitcase + threats to throw me off a train + scary fat rapist = almost arrested for swearing.

Results: The police sargeant leaned in and whispered in my ear that young ladies should flirt and not cuss like a sailor. I replied most politely that I would have flirted if I wasn't called a German bitch.

Age 25: Taxi + crazy rapist Taiwanese kidnapper + tropical gorge = mistaken for crazy rapist Taiwanese kidnapper.

Results: A thorough inspection of my passport. A thorough inspection of my face. A thorough realization that I am a stereotypical Caucasian supper.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I guessed you were from Singapore.

I am slightly distraught, Miss Behind Anonymity, that you are leaving. I know you are weary of life; so am I. You are pretty strong to have such resolve and carry it out. I can't do it.

Still, for me, the saddest thing is, that you are someone sensitive...and sensitive people are rare. There are so many rough and crude people in the world. But soon there will be one less sensitive person in the world.

I'm glad you did contact me. If I knew you would leave a comment, I would have written to you sooner.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

There is a problem with my blog that has perplexed many a techie savant. Sometime circa December 15th it began cutting off the bottom. Blogger tells me that I am at the end of a very long queue and I can expect my case to be examined sometime between the breaking of the fourth seal and the coming of the whore of Babylon.

But I do believe that if I shove my way to the front, tossing babies to the wayside and tripping inflatable men, I can move ahead a few steps. Persistence, that is essential if I am to fix my blog before some deathly pale horse can trample over my computer.

Until it works, just refresh or press F11.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Charles writes about his cab-driving days.

Jen believes hairy Mormons are her relatives.

Frank eludes a police helicopter.

Tina complains about Romanian universities.

Peter provides easy equations to determine whether you are a slacker, success or an American Idol.

That's enough reading for tonight. I am off to bed!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

If you look to the right, there is a sub-section of this blog I call Likeable Blogs. This is where I put people I don't know but whose lives or writing catch my fancy.

Under Likeable Blogs, there are links to various people whose lives are now irrevocably enmeshed with mine.

One of those people calls her blog "My Suicide Journal." She gives tomorrow, March 3rd, as the day she will commit suicide.

I don't want to suggest that things will get better because they might not, at least not immediately. People have been telling me (if I can sneak into the equation for a moment) that I have reached the bottom and I can go nowhere but up. Then, hours later, I found out I am in a bigger quandary. So things can get worse.

I can't talk her out of it just because "suicide is bad." She's right, what do we know of her life? The "suicide is bad" admonition is empty. It doesn't address the specifics of a life - it generalizes yet again the suicidal person's suffering.

So I don't know what to say.

I have a guess about your location, Ms. Behind Anonymity. Am I correct?

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I came across an interesting address just now - at the crossroads of Red Bud Road and Warrior Path in Calhoun, Georgia.

The gentleness of an infant rosebud meets the underboot of a Visigoth.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

All night I could not sleep. I kept thinking, "What sort of garbage did I just post? Why would anyone want to know about some mouse that nested in my car? Who cares about my working conditions?"

I shuddered to think what would happen if I left a weird entry out in public. With the polar icecaps melting, paranoia is a valid response. So I put the offending blog entry in storage, in a folder called Drafts.

I promise not to write any more weird things. From now on it's serious, intellectual theses on molecular biology.


Just in case you are wondering, here's what I wrote last night (the horror!):

Tonight I am exhausted. I managed to get quite a few errands done (working on some night school project, being flicked out of a store by some lingerie saleswoman, making an appointment to snip off my locks, trying to convince a librarian to let me renew Nelson Mandela's autobiography one more time, and buying hooker boots).

With so much activity I haven't had time to stop and think of something to write. In fact, today not one weird thing happened. It was a very straightforward, almost sterotypical Caucasian day.

I went to work and typed away like a typing monkey. I have been typing for months now but I am still at the part where Hamlet meets the ghost for the first time.

Do I go the predictable but safe route and make Hamlet the undecisive lad? Or do I throw in a few flamboyant squid to hoodwink the entire Danish court and make off with the spatula of Hamlet's father? Every few minutes I had to call over Mary, the Rework Project Manager, to discuss the plot line.

Our new office building will apparently be dynamited tomorrow so I will be working from home. Lisa and Mary gave me a stack of Coles Notes in preparation for the big scene where Ophelia takes that horseshoe and fashions it into a dulcimer.

After work, I rushed to the car insurance office. The last time I went there they gave me a license plate with the letters "JAF." JAF means collision in Romanian. Now I have "DBR" which is short for Doberman Pinscher. Just for the occasion I picked up three Doberman hitchhikers. They took me for a few pints at the Doberman bar. I pretended to fall asleep, just so I could hear what exactly dogs talk about when we are not around.

The conversation turned to cats. Cats' claws and cats arching their backs. You know, a stereotypical Doberman conversation.

I also had to flush my radiator. Under the hood, there on the motor, was a plastic bread bag. Oblong desiccated poops and dandelion fluff covered the battery. My sullen aunt said it was The Comrade.

And finally I am home. Exhausted but content. Anisoara is wandering about in her hamster ball. I am digesting a meal of eggplants, onions and brie. A hot tea and that death row inmate penpal article should lull me to sleep.

Good night, gentle readers!



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