Wednesday, November 30, 2011

make it stop

I used to follow a blog but recently the blogger has turned into a raving bigot.  Now I cannot drop the blog.  I repeatedly tried to remove the blog from my Reader feed but it kept returning.  Then I had an epiphany and logged into my Blogger dashboard and removed the blog from there. This removed it from my Reader feed also. Life was good for a few days but then the blog returned as soon as the blogger made another post.  This time there is no trace of the blog in the Reader subscriptions or in the Blogger followings.  I even went to the offending blog's site to try to remove myself from any subscription options but there weren't any.  So now I seem to be stuck with a raving bigot who does not show up as a subscription to either of my two subscription services. 

Does anyone else have this problem?

last week's roundup

This is from one of the more recent rugby matches.  I haven't talked about rugby in a while because the blog was starting to come up in Google searches and I was getting more recognition than I preferred.  Yes, I am fairly easy to find if you want to find me but that is different from being found when people are not specifically looking for me.


I'm about to reveal something about myself to SB's family that I would rather not but I am doing it for a good reason: many, possibly most, of my friends are potheads and I partake also.  I have not smoked a bowl since meeting SB though I don't think he would care if I did.  I used to smoke with my friends but never more than a couple drags because I didn't enjoy the effects like they did and felt like I was wasting their money when they shared with me.  While I prefer a glass of wine or a Cosmopolitan (with very little cranberry juice) they would give up alcohol and cigarettes if only allowed to choose one vice.  Now there were occasions when smoking weed did do it for me like if I needed to relax and go to sleep after a grueling night in studio or on the trip to Puerto Rico when everything around us was magical. 

SB's family leans to the right, like mine.  SB and his sister have long suspected that SB's stepmother may believe that humans roamed the earth with dinosaurs or whatever it is that literal biblical scholars believe.  I am not excited to reveal my relaxed stance on recreational drug use but SB's father is still very uncomfortable with his chemo despite the heavy, legal narcotics that are prescribed to him and I overheard SB and his sister discussing marijuana for him.  They were interested in suggesting the option but then didn't know how to go about procuring it and there I was thinking, I know sooo many people who could hook dad up.  His father lives only 60 miles from Ithaca where I went to graduate school and I know several professors, a nurse, a mechanic and about a dozen hippies who would be more than happy to help him out.  We are about to have the conversation with his father about smoking pot.  If he is interested then I will be sharing more than I wanted to share but for a very good reason.  And I will probably forever be known as his pothead, future daughter-in-law.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

awkward, really awkward

My first kiss wasn't an entirely consensual affair.  I was 12 years old (I think) and had recently agreed to go out with my second boyfriend, Jerome C.  Yes, the first boyfriend never actually got around to kissing me and our relationship consisted of him riding his BMX in circles around me and grabbing my ass in the school hallways as he ran past.  I did always have a round bottom.

So there I was, walking back from lunch with Jerome when all of a sudden he stopped in front of my math class and grabbed me by the face.  I had no idea what I was doing other than turning a deep crimson shade as I could hear the other students tittering nearby.  I was having my first kiss in public, with a very experienced kisser, and everyone could see that I had NO idea what I was doing.  Well, as it turned out only other experienced kissers had an idea that I had no idea what I was doing.  When I finally made it into the classroom I was greeted with a round of applause.  I wanted to die.

I eventually became a big fan of kissing, though I never kissed Jerome C again.  Asshole.  Looking back, it could have been much worse.  I could have been like this couple:

Monday, November 28, 2011

muzzle it

On Sunday SB and I hiked from Aberdeen to Black's Link.  The trip took about three hours and provided scenic views out across the island.  The last part of the hike occurred around 5:30 pm and it seemed to be the magic hour for matching sets of dogs.  We passed a pair of German Shepherds, a pair of white and brown mutts, three Beagles and two Corgis.  The woman walking with the Beagles was chatting on her phone as her helper pushed a pram beside the dogs.  I was just thinking about how her voice was very regal when SB leaned over and whispered that her voice grated. 

The Beagles and Corgis were wearing muzzles, which was unusual until we began noticing signs warning about dog poisoners.  It is very sad that some sicko is out there harming our furry friends and I hope someone catches him and gets him the help that he very much needs.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eriocheir sinensis

I tried hairy crab for the first time.  It did not start out promisingly as R and I, hairy crab virgins, tried to gnaw out the meat from spindly, little legs while A, hairy crab eater extraordinaire, kept raving to us about how great it was.  As I struggled with my legs I fell further and further behind until A caught R trying to ditch her insect-like legs so that she could get to the body faster.  Half an hour of struggle later I got to the good part.  I am now a hairy crab convert.  SB won't touch them; on his maiden voyage into hairy crab he broke out into large, red spots like a Holstein cow.  They stayed that was for a few days. 

I think he would be cute with large spots but I have blinders on.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

things that make you go hmm...

While enjoying a frosty beverage with friends the other night I noticed some loud chirping coming from an apartment above the pub.  The couple that lived there were irate at the noise level and were vigorously making their displeasure known.  I was informed that in the past they have poured water over the patrons below.

One wonders what they expected when they moved in above a pub. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

a circular speech about a storm

Once upon a time in 2010 my supervisor didn't know what a polder was.  It would have been a non-issue if not for his unwillingness to admit that he doesn't know everything.  That, when paired with his belief that underlings can't possibly know anything made things interesting.  And by interesting I mean awkward.  I would not have realized his ignorance if not for the fact that he then tried to play it off poorly.  The other coworker asked him if he didn't know what a polder was; she was blissfully unaware of his issues.  He became patronizing in response to her offer to explain it to him and ended the meeting soon after.

Moments later he sent us an email citing an example of polder architecture that he thought we should look at.  It wasn't really related to the point that I had been trying to make.  At all.  I Googled "polder architecture" and guess what was one first results.  The other coworker thought that the email was weird as well.  "Why couldn't he say that he didn't know what a polder was," she asked. 

Since the minor polder incident of 2010 Supervisor found many little ways to attempt to exert his intellectual dominance over us.  He seemed to go out of his way to mention obscure bits of information relating to HK codes and then became condescending when we didn't know what he was talking about.  He kept dropping comments about our respective universities until the awkwardness became straight out weird.

The nonsensical appraisal of 2011 was the hole in the dike that sunk the polder. A trickle became a deluge.  I could no longer understand why I was standing waist deep trying to plug the hole when there were happier polders with windmills close by.  I would have told the other coworker that I was leaving but she had sent her notice of bailing out a week previously.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

last week's roundup

 SB and his boarding school classmate.  They played ice hockey and lacrosse together.

Friday, November 18, 2011

the Philistine

When I was in university I fell in awe with a visiting lecturer.  He was well liked and moderately famous in philosophy/critical theory circles. Back then I didn't know about the campsite rule; it applies to May-December romances and states that they are acceptable if at the end of the affair, the elder partner should leave the younger in the same or better shape than they found them.

Needless to say, I was not left in better shape although being more cynical and guarded isn't always a bad thing.  I ended contact when I read his feature piece in one of my favorite architecture periodicals and discovered several uncanny similarities to my own ideas.  His response was that ideas are not copyrighted and I learned to guard my thoughts overnight.

I just saw his latest publication.  It was a gorgeously written piece and I wondered whose young brain he had drained for information this time.  I wondered if some other young woman was waking up to the dawning realization that she had been sucked dry.  Maybe she would think it was an honor to be so used by the master; that's what he implied to me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Scene III

The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea; the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun;
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears; the earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stol'n
From general excrement: each thing's a thief:
The laws, your curb and whip, in their rough power
Have uncheck'd theft.
Love not yourselves; away!

- Shakespeare, Timons of Athens

help needed

We have a friend who has been in a funk for quite some time now.  Recently, and not for the first time, she went MIA for a long period of time and SB spent hours knocking on her door and searching for her in her neighborhood while I went to check that there were no police reports bearing her name.  Like SB and me, she has no family close by and as far as we can tell she has no established emergency contact here so we take it upon ourselves to check on her well being.

She used to work in the finance industry but quit her job when the stress became overwhelming.  She talked to headhunters on and off for a very long time but no job seemed to interest her.  In the meantime she talked about interest in the hospitality industry but has not attempted to actually pursue the interest.  Now, years later, we are worried.  SB, who is especially uncomfortable with conflict, has felt the need to intervene and she has agreed to let us pay for her to talk to someone.  So readers, I am asking for recommendations for counseling of a Western educated MBA who cannot see her future. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

USS George Washington vs. Potbellied Pigs

On Friday night SB was invited to play with the Potbellied Pigs in a match against the Navy.  The pigs are a charitable organization who travel the globe playing in tournaments and raising money for charities.  One of their long term charities is an orphanage in the Philippines.  The team consists of a few current rugby players and a lot of former high level players who have aged into jolly and somewhat round social players.

The Navy team consisted of a handful of players who had recently learned rugby and a lot of newbies.  They had size, strength and fitness on their side.  But they didn't stand a chance.  At the end of the day wisdom and wiliness will beat youthfulness.  It didn't help that at the end of the match the core pig players were tired and subbed on younger, fresher ruggers while the Navy subbed on their most inexperienced players. 

I give the Navy highest marks for playing with great intensity and sportsmanship.  After the match we all went to the Doghouse for beers and further abuse at the hands of the Potbellied Pigs' Kangaroo Court.  I got to watch one of my favorite premiership referees being subjected to a tequila shot from the hirsute judge's armpit.  and that wasn't the worst of it.  I would say more but I don't want to abuse their hospitality in allowing me to observe their hijinks.  You should come down to their next match and see for yourselves.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

USS George Washington

SB and I are fascinated by big boats so we jumped at the chance to see the USS George Washington when it came to port.  We had toured the USS Carl Vinson at night so it was enjoyable to see the GW in daytime.  Unlike the other carriers this one is stationed in Japan and the crew live expat lives.  We had a nice chat with a young man who had been enlisted for only two months.  He was spending his shore leave by providing maintenance for the Crossroads and Salvation Army charities. This guy works six days per week on the ship, eight stories down in the engine room doing maintenance and we were greatly impressed that he would want to spend his free time doing even more maintenance work.  We are grateful to all the men and women who serve our country.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

about those Penn State students

I would be be more likely to riot if I found out that someone I respected spent a decade ignoring the fact that his assistant was a child rapist who was victimizing children through a program for disadvantaged/at risk youth.

Just saying...

Friday, November 11, 2011


As part of my unemployed routine I had a long, leisurely lunch with a girlfriend.  I was surprised by how many people were milling about; I somehow expected that everyone usually is working during the day like I used to do but in a city of 8 million people I should have known better.  Girlfriend is single and was sharing the delicious details of her swinging life.  I felt a wave on longing for those days when I was single, too.  It was fun when I only needed to care for myself and could be as selfish and self indulgent as I wanted.  I miss the lifestyle but not nearly as much as I love what I have now with SB.  But still, I can reminisce on my past exploits and hope for future wickedness, this time with my better half.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Miss understood

I am entering my fourth year in Hong Kong and I am still unable to sort our my correspondences.  I am often addressed as a Mrs. not only by strangers but by friends and acquaintances.  People who know that SB and I are not married still refer to me as such which is perplexing.  Maybe they are indicating to others that I am in a relationship?  Or wishful thinking?  It is oh so awkward to correct my friends because I sometimes get the surprised look as though I am coming clean after allowing them to believe otherwise or I get the "oh, she's practically married," which seems to lead 50% of the people being introduced to ask about my future marriage plans.  Ugh.  And I can't get the right intonation when attempting to say, "No, I am not married," because it comes out as, "Noooo!  I am NOT married (in psychotically defensive voice)," or "No (forlorn sigh), I am not married (followed by sad and awkward silence)."  I am just stating a fact, people. 

Although in my tax return form, when I have to choose the Spinster(!) option I am sorely tempted to lie and choose Mrs.

Monday, November 7, 2011

back with a vengeance

It's wonderful what a couple of weeks will do to your outlook.  Right before I left for my American vacation I left my job.  I had been pondering quitting for over a year but couldn't bring myself to do it.  I liked the company, liked the chairman, liked my director and had never left a job unhappy.  But then the supervisor who was troubling me gave me that bad appraisal and I realized that my options would always be limited under his direction so I grew a pair and challenged him, starting with my appraisal.  SB cheered loudly if not a bit smugly because he had been heavily encouraging me to stand up for myself, not to mention that that he thought a year-end bonus was a poor retention scheme for what it was costing me to stay.  In the end I received a better package than I was hoping for (maybe I need to listen to SB's business advice more) and left very, very happy.

I had a few blissful weeks in the States where I visited friends, former professors and SB's family.  Autumn is my favorite season in the Northeast and I was able to take many walks in the morning fog while kicking up fallen leaves and enjoying the idyll of the gorges and waterfalls.  It began snowing on the day that I left.

Now I am back and taking it easy before committing myself to the job search.  I have been enjoying Hong Kong through the lenses of a tourist: taking long walks across the Dragon's Back, spending long, wine filled lunches with friends and relaxing with a book and a pastry.  For the time being, I am really enjoying this lifestyle.  I know that I will eventually feel the need to work but for now life is good.