Monday, September 30, 2013

I had a bad day

I had a bad day.  It was one of those days where everything that can go wrong, does. I had to go to a site in an area that had almost no amenities (i.e. no places to go for lunch).  I forgot my umbrella. Nothing got resolved at any of my meetings. My bus was full and wouldn't pick me up.  When I did find a bus, I was trapped in traffic for over an hour.

I'm lucky that I don't have a goldfish or who knows how badly the day could have gone.

I came home, hugged SB and then turned on my laptop so that Elmo and the Roots could end my day on a bright note. And then I got out the ice cream.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


My uncle used to say that people were often guilty of "knowing enough to be dangerous." He once made me angy by using that phrase on my sister but in hindsight he was correct.  She was most of the way through her medical school rotation and felt fairly confident about her knowledge but as it turned out, she still had a lot more to learn and experience.

I was first certified in basic first aid and CPR when I was sixteen but after I moved to Hong Kong I was unable to find a re-certification course that was feasible with my schedule and need for English medium.  Recently though, I decided to make an effort because while my team has its own physio, some of the other teams for our club do not and there have been a few situations where I have filled in.
I signed on for a course that began today (Sunday) which may have been a day too late.  Yesterday I watched a serious neck injury occur to a front row player.  As a front row player, I am aware of how badly things can go wrong when your eight guys are pushing against their eight guys and you are in the middle, arms pinned behind you, and then suddenly something becomes misaligned and everything wrenches sideways on your neck.

I was upstairs viewing the match and the team had two physios who immediately went into action, initially supporting the player's neck and spine.  Then a couple things happened that I was not comfortable with.  Unfortunately I suffered from a lack of confidence due to my lapsed first aid certification; also physios are much more highly trained and people with higher skills can employ techniques that a basic first aider would never attempt.  Still, there are some things that don't change no matter what the skill level, and I should have remembered that keeping a person's spine stable is one of them.

I took the course today and was regretful for what I should have, could have done.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

bears gone wild

I haven't uploaded a cute animal video in a while so without further ado...

We all like a good back scratch and what could be a better combination that back scratchers, bears and banjo music?

Friday, September 27, 2013

rock revival

When I got SB Guitar Hero a few years ago, I didn't figure that I would derive much enjoyment from it, other than the enjoyment of having something to distract him while I snuck away to read a book.  As it turns out, I really enjoy the game.  While I don't actually play it (even if I wanted to, good luck tearing the guitar out of his arms) I have been enjoying the discovery, or rediscovery, of rock music spanning over several genres.

I forgot how much I liked the Vines and the memories of listening to a less stellar version of garage rock in my boyfriend's garage when I was young.  I relived listening to all of those big rock bands with my neighbor while staring at his prized poster collection on the wall.  And I never would have discovered Band of Skulls.  So thank you, Guitar Hero, for reminding me of what I love about rock n roll.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

full sail

After an awful start, the USA team for the America's Cup has made a stunning turnaround. There have been more highs, crashes, twists and turns than a Mexican telenovela and the race series is stretching into the history books. Will the USA come from far behind to win the series or will New Zealand prevail?

SB will wake up at 4am to watch it. It's quite a turnaround from the teeth gnashing of a few weeks ago. We wish that his father was alive to enjoy the spectacle with him. It was something that he had in common with my uncle, the other thing being that they died too soon. While my uncle never raced professionally like SB's father, he sailed a larger boat and reached many more exotic destinations than JR did in his racer.

I bet that they could have exchanged stories.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

summer's over

In this part of the world the temperature is still in the thirties and the oppression of heat continues but I just know that any day now, it will all change.  There are already fur coats in shop windows and before long we will see middle aged ladies hiking around the Peak in their minky and beavered fineness.

For now, I will be thankful that I won't be raking leaves anytime soon.  But if it would bring joy as in the below video, I would rake leaves.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

brace yourself

While everyone else is either praying for a huge storm so that we get Monday off or freaking out in the case of a few new residents, SB is trying to find people to go on a hike.  I am not amused.  He will only make it as far as Shek O and I will go with him to ensure that he doesn't scale the headlands.  I am a killer of all things fun for him when it comes to big storms.

If there are any readers who have recently moved here and are worried about the storm impact, let me direct you to an earlier post regarding Hong Kong's superior storm water management system. With nature, we can only predict so much but we are prepared well enough that as bad as things may get, they won't be Katrina bad, or even Sandy bad.  I was going to purchase a couple of 5 liter water jugs for an upcoming junk trip so I went ahead and bought them early; this is pretty much the extent of my storm preparation. If the Hong Kong Observatory issues a more severe prediction I have the ability to tape my big window.

I directed a friend who has recently moved to Hong Kong to the Hong Kong Observatory app.  I think that HKO, Studio Kuma's junk call filter, and the Citybus NWFB apps are the mandatory for residents.  Does anyone have another app that they think is necessary for Hong Kongers?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

everybody, all at once

My office graciously allowed all of the staff to leave early for the holiday.  With time to kill and no big urge to rush home due to all of the chores awaiting me, I decided to take the bus home.  Bad idea.

Apparently every other office was as gracious as mine and I packed into my bus like a sardine.  On the road, our bus had to share the road with school buses and tour buses as we all jockeyed for position in two lanes. Basically the people who you don't usually run into during regular office hours were still about.  I got home only an hour earlier than if I had left at my usual time. And then there were the chores.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

between the sheets

This week has been a difficult one. Reading condolences for a dear friend's death on social media was mind blowing, the internet's speed so much faster than the speed of the news being passed through softer, more thoughtful forms of communication.

I retreated to my books; it occurred to me that perhaps my affinity for reading versus listening to music or watching a movie is due to the control that I can exert while participating in the story.  My imaginations paints in the mood and imagery after the words have set the scene.  I can choose the speed of how quickly I absorb each word, whether I am flying over the pages with words jumping at me or rewinding and repeating a phrase until it is absorbed and permeates the soft tissue below my skin.

I was going to read "To Kill a Mockingbird," the first gift Mike ever gave me, and one of the possessions that I will probably carry with me for the rest of my life. But I am not yet ready to confront the ghost resting in his script on the inside of the book. Then I thought, "The Catcher in the Rye," but I'm afraid that I may be tempted to join all of the amateur sleuths who are currently picking at Salinger's bones and trying to rebuild him as Holden, minus a testicle.  Who would have thought that the one testicle theory that was once so popular in explaining Hitler's behavior would reappear in a reclusive author?

I settled on "Pale Fire."  Thinking about the Salinger controversy led me to the Nabokov authorship controversy.  You can tie yourself in knots trying to sleuth that book.  I tie myself in knots, happy knots, just reading it without any theories of authorship.  I'm looking forward to the knots.

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 11, 2013

We say about someone - he would give you his last dime, but Mike, he really would and maybe he really did because I never asked him if he was okay, what it might have been costing him to patch me up. He just kept giving and I kept sucking him dry to fill the void inside of me with what he had to offer.

He was my lifeline and I was an anchor.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

50 shades

'50 Shades of Grey' has become Britain's best-selling book (egads!), and who knows how many more copies will sell when the movie version comes out.  But being the most sold does not mean that it is the most treasured.  Apparently charity shops are reporting that hundred of copies are being offloaded to them.  The books are not recyclable because of the binding glue.

My own neighbor Michelle tried to offload her trilogy onto me but I already had been gifted a set.  I suspect her of eventually convincing some poor sucker at the pub to take them home to his wife.  Maybe she will become one of those readers who had made spanking a mainstream sexual activity.

I used to wear skintight, shiny, vinyl pants to work when I was a bartender.  My tip jar could attest to the fact that there are people out there who really, really like shiny, black, vinyl clothing.  Those pants payed my undergraduate tuition.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

take it easy

On Friday morning I woke up to enjoyable, mild weather and decided to attempt riding the tram to the office since I was up earlier than usual and had time to spare.  The tram took ten minutes longer than the bus route to get to the office at around 50 minutes.  I was at an engrossing part of the book that I was reading when I boarded the tram so I continued to read as it set off, against my better judgement.  That's when I discovered that for some reason, trams do not bring on my motion sickness.

My Asian genes really come through in terms of strange quirks like lactose intolerance and motion sickness, though I have thankfully missed the bad driving genes and directionally challenged genes.  I get horribly sick when travelling in cars, minibuses, buses, and occasionally on boats and planes.  I almost never take a taxi because of the strange habit of pumping the accelerator instead of maintaining a constant speed.  You will never see me below deck or in a closed space on a boat if I can help it. When sailing, I used to drink ginger beer before bedtime or dope myself of Dramamine before heading below deck.  I am the person who makes sure that she has an airsick bag before takeoff; I have never had to use it but I came really close once and there were some terrifying minutes as the plane was landing when I got out of my seat and started frantically pawing through other passengers' seat backs.

Anyway, while riding the tram and finishing my chapter, I looked up to see that I had been in motion for ten minutes and there was nary a quiver in my stomach.  I continued to live on the edge and kept reading until suddenly we were in Quarry Bay and I was several chapters along.

This retelling may seem pointless to my readers but let me assure you that for me this is a game changer.  I love reading and this newly discovered ability to read on a tram means that I can get in some prime leisure time on the way to and from work as long as the weather allows.  I have a massive backlog of recommended reads on my Kindle that I can now address since I will have 50 minutes each was that I don't have to spend cooking, cleaning, taking SB to the hospital, etc.  Oh joy! O Fortuna!

Friday, September 6, 2013

ride share

The bus was packed early this week, as it usually is when it rains.  I am not sure where all the people come from but I suspect that taxis which might look for passengers in the valley get picked up in Causeway Bay so that regular taxi riders have to look for alternate forms of transportation.

This would also explain why some of the unfamiliar riders this week also were unfamiliar with how to behave when sharing public transportation with others.

Here is a man who decided that rather than sitting next to another passenger (the horror) he would sit in the priority seating.  The priority seating is marked by not only a sign posted right in front of the seat, but also by red seat covers stating "PRIORITY SEAT" in yellow font.  Mr. Businessman not only sat in a seat that should have been offered to special needs riders, but he placed his backpack on the seat next to him so that no one else would try to share his perch.  After observing several women and their pre-school children boarding and look over at the seat while he pretended not to notice, I saw an elderly man stand next to the seat and try to gain this man's attention only to be ignored.  I got up to tell the businessman to move his bag but the elderly man waved me off after correctly guessing my intentions, probably by the purple tinge to my face as I headed over.  The elderly man was too shy to accept my offer of my own seat and rode the bus standing, gripping the railing right next to Mr. Businessman.  Mr. Businessman actually had to lean out of the seat to look around the elderly man for the bus stop signal but he managed to avoid noticing that someone could have used the seat. What an ass.

And here is a woman who may look like a normal human being but what you can't see in the picture is that her bottom is so wide that she needs to take up two seats.  And she's clearly embarrassed by this fact, as you can observe in her defensive posturing.