…holiday in November

 Western Toilets – When I first used the bathroom (in the posh condo overlooking the Caspian Sea during Thanksgiving Holiday) I stood looking at the western toilet, not sure if it was an animal, vegetable or mineral.  It took me 5 min to find the flush button. (Alright it was all high sheen blinding white porcelain; they hide the buttons on purpose I swear)

High pressure, Hot Water showers in unlimited supply-Over the same holiday, I took 2 showers each day.  Just for the hell of it and just because I could.  The shiny knobs confused me though, seriously, how was I supposed to know the middle lever thing makes the shower so high pressure I though I’d lose my skin?

Washing machine and dryer-I was under the false impression that I had lost weight in my short time being here.  However, warm jeans fresh out the dryer hugged my legs like grim death and dispelled the slimming notion. (the drying time is usually 2 days when you hang clothes near a gas stove –and risk having them go up in flames-it took 15 min. there is something to be said –tho I’m not sure exactly what-about loud annoying efficiency)  Also, this is probably the best time to mention that I smelled very clean after all my clothing went through a high speed agitation/spin cycle wash. I think it was mountain berry detergent.  Mmmmm J

High Speed Internetglorious. glorious…hours spent talking drains and sewers and Russia and cars and unibrows and London and photography. Ahhh. J  It only took me 10 min to check/read/delete through my IN box instead of the standard 2 hours with dial up.

Apple Pie-For the last 3 or maybe 4 years I was too poor (college and photography and wrecking cars is pricey) and lacked patience to cook and enjoy this lovely dish.  I believe that I ate 5 pieces over Thanksgiving holiday, skipping the healthy things like veggies and pasta salad. It was pig-ish but hey, it was free and made me feel American.

Microwave ovens- These nifty little contraptions can be used for everything from popcorn to heating water to de frosting hunks of nasty meat. At my last apartment in the pretentious ‘burb of Burnsville the pad came with a microwave that also had an alarm clock (you could set it to different time zones, in case for instance, you wanted to de frost your chicken at the same time people in London were sipping tea), radio, rotating plate and roasting rack.  I used it maybe 3 times and that was only when I discovered that my oven hadn’t been hooked up and I was too lazy to call the sketch repair man (he had already fixed my garbage disposal and made my apt reek like piss awful beer for 2 days, he was also attacked by my Ninja Cat Niko so he prolly wouldn’t have shown up anyway…) The point is that I hadn’t realized that it was nice having the ability to heat water in 3 min and could cook dinner in under 10 min. I thought about eating a microwave dinner just for the hell of it…but that didn’t work out (microwave dinners are scary to me) and I settled for reheating my coffee…which came from a real coffee maker. 

Real Coffee from a real coffee maker-Since July 2007 I have been drinking instant coffee. Not the Tasters Choice with lots of Sugar and flavoring (like French Sidewalk Café Latte With Carmel-which is great if you cant get the real deal) but bitter instant coffee that didn’t make the cut for the tasty sugar laden Target stuff.  This is especially hard for me.  Go ahead call me lame (considering all the things I could miss and whing on about) Before I landed her I worked at a semi-Indy Coffee Shop that roasted, and ground their own free trade organic beans, I had fresh brewed black coffee and unlimited espresso at my finger tips; not to mention I made wicked tips by being a smart arse and serving coffee with attitude. (Whatever works, eh?)  Not saying I don’t want to be here kickin it in the AZ. I miss coffee.  Point made.  So over Thanksgiving holiday I drank copious amounts of real coffee resulting in me being tweaked out like a crack junkie going through detox.  There was much happiness.

Also in November:

Ran my little heart out nearly every morning…in spite of the awful ice, random cars driving down the wrong side of the road with no head lights, no sun, fog, pot holes the size of kiddies swimming pools, rabid dogs, confused cows, smashed rats, attacking ducks, rubbish heaps that appear out of nowhere, and old women grumbling, I only bit pavement ONCE and didn’t break anything. Besides the fact that I need running to live (and actually truly love to run, tho according to DS endurance running may not have application to other areas of your life), I’m also sick and Effing tired with Azeri women calling me fat.  Which is simply ridiculous/mean/culturally appropriate on their part, and then I tell them I don’t have to marry an Azeri man and have an intelligent, handsome, rich man back in the states waiting for me and that shuts them up tight, which is ridiculous/mean/culturally appropriate on my part.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/world/asia/30dissident.html?ex=1359435600&en=0dc73c2fd8084e8c&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

By arresting Mr. Hu the government just proved the point that Mr. Hu has been trying to make all along: that there are human rights issues that must be taken care of and the Olympics, while a step in the right direction, are simply a band aid on a much bigger problem.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/opinion/24kristof.html?ex=1358830800&en=91d3b2d1cf32991f&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

I really don’t know much about the situation in China (and the up coming Olympics ) and the wretched mess in Darfur…I wish I could find the article I read awhile back about how China was insisting its human rights issues were being resolved. Quite ironic then that China is seemingly encouraging a bloody mess in other countries.

disclaimer

January 22, 2008

*thanks to mike for this doozy of a disclaimer*“The views, ideas, and positions contained herein are solely those of the author(s), and do not in any way reflect the positions of nor carry approval from the United States Government, the U.S. Peace Corps, or their members or leadership. This blog is provided “as-is” for entertainment purposes only, and no warranty is expressed or implied as to its fitness or suitability for any given purpose or application. By commenting on or otherwise contributing to this blog, contributors acknowledge that they and they alone are responsible for the content of their contributions, and that neither WordPress.com nor MCMacDonald, as Service Providers as defined in the Communications Decency Act, are responsible nor liable for the actions of their users.”

…before i forget…

January 22, 2008

…one more Toy story from Oct. in which I’m mistaken for a British Photographer, hit on more than 4 times and escape ‘Death-by-Dancing-with-Fat-Man.’

The pick up lines used were of a quality I had never heard before, not even during my brief stint (many MANY moons ago) of wild child antics (AKA imbibing adult beverages) at dive bars on my college campus.  As the night progressed there was an inverse relationship between the increasing drunkenness and the declining quality of the pick up lines.  This is probably related in some way to the increasing amount of personal space he invaded, tho if I remember correctly, his paunch was big enough to get close to me before the rest of him followed (that’s a long winded way of saying he was quite fat.) Every time I had to use the toilet he would try and stop me and since I spent most of the night drinking Coke (which I hated back in the states) there were many trips and many awkward moments where I tried to pretend I didn’t hear the large, drunk, sweating, man following me around and talking loudly.

#1        Dude:  ‘Ahh, I have seen you before, I recognize you!  Do you remember me? You are British, you are a photographer for the British Magazine, you take pictures.”

Me:  Ummm, uh, I don’t recognize you, but yes, I am a photographer. (While thinking: ‘It’s too early to be drunk, maybe we’ve met before and don’t remember him n bloody hell, how do I look British?! Really?! Photographers take pictures?  No way dude, No way!!’)

Dude: No, you are British, I know you. In Baku I have seen you.’

Me: Ummm, no, I’m American; I have to go eat cabbage.  (In stressful situations I remember the Azeri words for Tomato and Cabbage)

#2         Dude:  “Ahh you are beautiful! You are English!!” (Making a very crude hand gesture)

            Me: “Thank you” (thinking: ‘Do English sport Marge Simpson poofy hair do’s?’)

            Dude:  “You are photographer, Isss know youuu!” (slurring)

            Me: No you don’t know me, your fat and ugly, go away. (over my shoulder as I walk further away)

#3        Dude: ‘I want to talk to you, you teach me English, yes? You are very beautiful!’ (He was talking to my chest/stomach region.  Last time I checked, my chest/stomach region doesn’t talk or hear for that matter.)

            Me:  NO!!!

             (Insert rude comments behind my back as I walk away) 

#4 (this one needs to be archived in the Bad Pick Up Lines Hall Of Fame, right up there with “Nice Shoes Wanna F—K?”)

            Dude:  What language do you speak? Do you speak? (Creepy mega unibrow wiggle)  We can speak together!’ (Creepy mega unibrow wiggle #2) (Makes last attempt to converse with my chest/stomach region in hopes they will speak the same language he does) ‘I will speeeak to you!’

            Me:    GO TO HELL!! I speak English, Idiot!’ (In Azeri, to his face) and ‘Fuck you’ (in English, under my breath while walking away)

 Bad form Dude, bad form. 

Apparently this only increased my attractiveness.  After the American Dance,(see October in retro)  I joined the other women in dancing Azeri Style (you wave/twist your arms and hands around a lot and the Azeri women look lovely…I however look like a hippy at Woodstock doing an interpretive dance of a Tree/Bird/Monkey while high)  And then it happened.  There was a hush, the lights were lowered, and suddenly, from across the distance came…Celion Dion and ‘Titanic’ (aka ‘My heart will go on’ which contrary to narrow-minded American thought is still the most popular, best, tops, lovely, amazing song to express and champion true love.)  Everyone, including the new couple (who were very cute together and very nice) hit the floor to slow dance. Someone took my arm and I was stupid enough to turn around. And yea it was the Dude, even more drunk and sweaty; he immediately grabbed me in a smelly (BO/onions/oil/Caspian fish) rank hug and started bobbing to the music while slurring “We will dance”.  Being smothered by a wet blanket and flailing around to Savage Garden was more preferable to me.  I led Dude over to where his drunk/sober buddies were watching/cheering him on, pushed Dude away, (very dramatically I might add) while telling him ‘go to hell, you should be ashamed’ (with a mean look) This did produce the desired result, the group of guys laughed at him and gave me thumbs up, while they chimed in telling him he was an uncultured looser and other Azeri insults, which I didn’t quite understand, but were certainly directed at Dude.(He was appropriately subdued and was bundled into a taxi before the final course of plov was served.) And…I went and hid in the bathroom for a good 20 min. hoping I hadn’t acquired a BO/onion/oil/Caspian fish smell.

drains and death and OH MY!

January 21, 2008

news from Aussie land:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/afternoon-adventure-that-ended-in-disaster/2008/01/20/1200764081353.html

thanks to Mr. Kay O for giving me the heads up.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/cave-clans-fortress/2008/01/21/1200764136972.html

its simply awful

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/drain-survivor-quizzed/2008/01/21/1200764128865.html

“Now, some people take drugs, some people watch TV… we explore drains.”  —Predator

I’m rather sad when ever someone dies in such an awful way; especially when it seems like the disaster could have been avoided.

Is the grate on Fortress like the one in Dead White Guy Drain or Amph?  (oh, that was not a joke but the actually real name of a drain we discovered) I cant remember what Fortress looks like 😦

From MSN.com

January 17, 2008

Scientists in Uruguay find the fossil remains of a 2,000-pound rodent that lived 2 million to 4 million years ago – the largest rodent ever found.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22684589/?GT1=10755

maybe Mr. Burns was a long lost relative?

october in retro

January 12, 2008

 (short and sweet)

TOY TOY TOY!!!

After narrowly escaping the doom of wearing a leopard print sequined turtle neck dress to two weddings, I breathed a sigh of relief…this Zen feeling lasted only a minute and then I was called up in front of 150 people, and commanded to ‘DANCE!! DANCE!! DANCE AMERICAN FOR US!!’ The strobes were running, the P-Diddy Remix was booming.  I grabbed the nearest girl (who was 10years old) and attempted my best ‘American Dance’. (Who knew there was an ‘American Dance’??) Picture a dizzy, spazing, floral print Monkey.  I am now infamous. People I’ve never even meet before will come up to me on the street and say “I saw you dancing on the Toy Video. You are good!”

 Adding that one to my CV: Can dance ‘American’ at Weddings

  There was also the Taxi ride from hell that found me in a tiny Russian Village at night in the rain and no mobile phone.  That’s one of those adventures I’d rather not repeat.  It was the start to a zombie movie… 

Spent approximately 30 min. being chastised by 5 librarians because they found out I bathed mostly everyday.  It’s not normal.

Discovered that chocolate bars come wrapped in images of skanky women.  One of the bad life choices I made in Oct. was trying said chocolate…Rinkers Revenge was full force.(that’s for the MPLS crew!)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/opinion/06rich.html?ex=1357362000&en=b5268f6d6fd4db34&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

…as my lovely cuz said, I miss black as death coffee and reading the NYTimes.

it happens here as well…

January 8, 2008

…schools close because of flesh freezing cold…(and all along I thought it was just a MN thing)

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